Union Pacific Railroad’s Commitment to Health & Safety

CEO Statement

At Union Pacific, health and safety are at the forefront of our operations. We believe that our commitment to safety defines who we are. This requires conducting business in a manner that addresses the safety of not only our employees, but our contractors, customers and the communities we serve. We are pleased with our impressive safety record in what is already the safest industry for ground freight transportation.

We are committed to continuous efforts to identify and manage safety risks associated with the operation of our business. Union Pacific encourages and supports employee engagement in workplace safety to create a Total Safety Workplace. We strive to prevent all incidents, injuries and occupational illnesses through the active participation of all involved.

Below you will find our Health and Safety Policy. This policy was created to align with all federal and state laws and regulations. Thank you for your continued support and commitment while we strive to set a positive example for our communities.

Jim Vena signature
Jim Vena, CEO

Our Commitment

Safety is Union Pacific’s first priority. It is our policy to conduct business in a manner that addresses the safety of all employees, contractors, customers and the communities we serve. We take seriously our goal of preventing all incidents, injuries and occupational illnesses. The company is committed to continuous efforts to identify and manage safety risks associated with its activities; we continuously look for innovative approaches to improve our health and safety measures.

Union Pacific complies with all applicable laws, regulations, rules and instructions. It is our policy to respond quickly, effectively, and with care to emergencies or incidents in cooperation with authorized government agencies. We go beyond just compliance; Union Pacific is committed to investing in training, research and development, and public education to further our health and safety goals. We understand the importance of undertaking appropriate reviews and evaluations of our operations to measure progress, foster compliance and continually improve. Thus, we are committed to updating and revising this policy when necessary.

Our Initiatives

Union Pacific has several measures in place in order to ensure that our operations are performed safely. We understand that uncertainty does not justify inaction, thus we aim to prevent incidents. Through these initiatives and employee training, we are able to provide the most reliable rail service to our customers while keeping our employees and communities safe. We work diligently to promote safety awareness among our employees through effective training programs, communication, and community engagement. Below you will find explanations of some of our most robust safety initiatives.

Total Safety Culture

Union Pacific and our employees share an absolute commitment to safety. Our Total Safety Culture (TSC) is a voluntary, employee-owned process focused on Peer-to-Peer training, observations and feedback. TSC directly empowers our union employees to address risk behaviors. The values of the program are shared and supported by Union Pacific’s senior management. TSC is active in both regions of our company’s service area.

Rail Safety Maintenance

Maintaining quality rail infrastructure is paramount to our ability to operate safely. We have active derailments prevent programs order to provide a secure path for our employees. Union Pacific is committed to regularly inspecting railroad tracks and locomotives using state-of-the-art equipment. Our systems evaluate track structure wear to prevent derailments and maintain track health. We are committed to continue monitoring and revising train make-up and handling rules in order to ensure safe working conditions.

Positive Train Control

Positive Train Control (PTC) is a system of technologies designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, derailments, and unauthorized movement. PTC automatically stops a train before certain incidents related to human error can occur by relaying and acting on critical information such as speed limits, train movement authorization, switch positions and other operational data.

We have implemented Positive Train Control on 100% of our required rail lines. With that, all of our employees have completed the required training. PTC education is an on-going initiative as employees are retained and new employees are introduced. We are committed to continuing these efforts as we continue to conduct business.

Hazardous Materials

Union Pacific is obligated by federal law to transport hazardous materials. All federal and state laws and regulations regarding the transportation of such materials are stringently followed. We focus on incident prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. We have a Hazardous Material Management group which consists of highly trained experts in hazardous material transportation safety. The group works with customers to ensure that tank cars are properly secured and operating safely.

While our primary goal is to prevent incidents by conducting regular inspections, Union Pacific’s Hazardous Material Management group prepares for such an event through working with first responders and other stakeholders throughout the communities we operate. If an incident were to occur, the Management group is dedicated to responding quickly and safely to mitigate any potential hazards.


At Union Pacific, we believe that innovation is key to successful performance. We are continuously advancing our technologies in order to ensure safe operations. For instance, we use Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), or drones, to collect valuable information at derailment and natural disaster sites. UAS allows us to assess our infrastructure and respond while keeping employees out of harm’s way. Union Pacific complies with all Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.

We are committed to protecting the security and confidentiality of our own data and that of our customers, employees and contractors. We have developed a program that aligns with and complies with the California Consumer Privacy Act, the most comprehensive state privacy law. The California Consumer Privacy Act can be found here: https://oag.ca.gov/privacy/ccpa

Our Information Assurance team is responsible for the confidentiality, integrity and availability of Union Pacific’s infrastructure and assets. This team has robust processes and redundancies in place to prevent, detect and respond to potential cyber threats. Regular vulnerability scanning and system penetration testing are performed to validate our security controls.

Union Pacific has its own team of highly trained special agents dedicated to maintaining Safety. These special agents are an important part of the communities the railroad serves. The Department holds accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). This is considered the highest standard in law enforcement accreditation and only recognizes agencies that meet the highest law enforcement standards.

The Union Pacific Police Department has primary jurisdiction over crimes committed against the railroad. Special Agents have primary jurisdiction over crimes committed against the railroad. The department is responsible for all Union Pacific locations across 32,000 miles of track in 23 states.

Risk Reduction

This comprehensive, system-oriented safety plan describes how Union Pacific identifies and analyzes hazards and their associated risks and how we develop and implement plans to eliminate or mitigate those risks. The purpose is to improve operational safety and complement our adherence to other FRA regulations. The program includes plans for risk-based hazard management; safety performance evaluation; safety outreach; technology implementation; employee/contractor training; railroad employee involvement; and internal assessment.

Our Values Line

It is everyone’s responsibility to act in a safe manner and to avoid injuries to themselves and others. Therefore, employees are encouraged to report violations of this policy to their managers. If, however, an employee believes that the manager cannot or will not resolve the issues, the employee should contact the Union Pacific Values Line. The Values Line can be reached at 800-998-2000.