Go Home Safe.
How humans understand safety and risk has changed as our
lifestyles have evolved. It was not long ago that cars were manufactured
without seatbelts. Now we wouldn’t ride in a car without wearing one.
For more than a century, railroads have focused on safety
improvements. In the early years, between 1890 and 1910, there were no air
brakes, and connecting cars was a manual task. To slow or stop a train, brakemen
climbed on top of moving cars to tie handbrakes together. It was very dangerous
work that resulted in numerous injuries and fatalities. During this time
period, the industry averaged 2,500 fatalities per year.
As technology advanced, safety improved. In the late 1920s,
the industry adopted a “safety first” mentality. This mentality created a
continuous focus on improved technology and processes aimed at creating a safer
Today, safety is not just an idea; it is a way of life.
Railroads are currently considered one of our nation’s safest industries. Between
1980 and 2012, the rail employee injury, train derailment and crossing accident
rates have all declined by more than 80 percent. According to the U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics, railroads have lower employee injury rates than other
modes of transportation like trucks, barges and airlines, as well as most other
major industry groups, including grocery and retail stores.