Employee Safety

Performance Overview

Employees’ efforts led to a reportable injury rate of 0.79 per 200,000 employee hours, as reported to the Federal Railroad Administration. From 2007 to 2017, Union Pacific employees improved their reportable injury rate by 54 percent.

Our injury-rate improvement is evidence of our employees’ personal commitment to working safely. The Courage to Care Pledge and our Total Safety Culture reinforce this goal.

In addition, Union Pacific offered nearly 900 safety-related courses last year directly targeting safety-related tasks.

Total Safety Culture

Total Safety Culture (TSC) is a voluntary employee-led initiative that teaches employees safe behaviors while providing observations and feedback. TSC directly empowers our union employees to address at-risk behaviors and receives the full backing of senior management.

The Courage to Care Pledge

Union Pacific introduced Courage to Care in 2012. The pledge represents a culture of safety and personal accountability.

I have the courage to care. Worn with a lion’s pride, it means those I work with will have my back, and I will have theirs. I pledge to shield myself and my team from harm. I will take action to keep them safe, by fixing an unsafe situation, addressing an unsafe behavior or stopping the line. In turn, I will have the courage to accept the same actions from my coworkers, who care enough to correct my path. We wear this badge out of respect for each other and those who have gone before us. On my watch, we will all go home safe to our families every day.

Railroadwide safety “stand down” meetings are held twice each year. During these events, normal operations are suspended for in-depth conversations on Courage to Care’s role in employees’ lives.

Technology's Role in Employee Safety


More than 1,700 company vehicles are outfitted with telematics. This technology uses a telecommunications device to transmit real-time information about motorist behavior, including seat belt use, speed, and acceleration and deceleration, to provide feedback that informs safe driving habits.

Electronic Device Awareness Campaign

Creating and maintaining a safe work environment requires proactive planning. Union Pacific was among the first rail carriers to adopt a national peer-to-peer program to educate employees about at-risk behaviors such as the unsafe use of electronic devices. Our 2013 “Don’t Text while Driving” Pledge helped reinforce it. We also have excellent partners in our labor organizations and industry associations. We strive to keep employees engaged and committed so that every employee goes home safely every day.

Video Gaming Technology

Video simulation training, pioneered by Union Pacific and licensed to other railroads and industries, helps prepare our employees for real-life operating conditions. Before new conductors set foot inside a locomotive, they spend up to two months training with simulators that allow them to learn in the safety of a classroom rather than in a 6,000-ton train. We also use avatars in our Mechanical Department for car inspection training.