2012 employee safety performance

Safety is Job No. 1

Our goal at Norfolk Southern is for employees to end the workday the same way they began it — safely. Through training, on-the-job safety briefings, and constant vigilance, our aim is to finish each year without a single injury.

In 2012, our employees helped the company achieve its second-best year ever in safety performance. In a workforce of more than 30,000, our company reported 239 injuries to the Federal Railroad Administration. That equates to an injury ratio of 0.81 injuries per 200,000 employee-hours.

Our operations employees do much of their work outdoors in all kinds of weather and around large, moving pieces of equipment, so they must be aware of their surroundings at all times. The most common reportable injury results from what we term “slips, trips, and falls” — always a potential when employees work on equipment or walk on rock ballast around railroad tracks. Another common reportable injury involves sprains or muscle pulls.

Our safety performance dropped slightly in 2012 compared with 2011, a year in which employees established a record-low injury ratio for the company and the rail industry. Our reportable injuries increased 6 percent in 2012, while the number of people losing work time due to injury rose 7 percent. Regrettably, we also experienced a fatality in 2012, a 52-year-old maintenance-of-way employee whose work truck was struck by a train at a grade-crossing in Virginia.

The number of on-the-job injuries reported during the past five years has been trending downward, dropping every year since 2008 until 2012. Even with the slight increase in 2012 from 2011, we experienced 20 percent fewer injuries in 2012 than were reported in 2008.

employee injury data
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Work-related fatalities 1 0 2 1 1
Injuries per 200,000 employee-hours 0.94 1.08 0.89 0.75 0.81
Number of reportable injuries 298 296 251 225 239
People with restricted activity 1 2 4 2 3
People requiring medical attention 55 59 52 59 61
People who lost-time due to injury 242 241 195 164 175

Employees committed to safety
Our safety successes stem from outstanding employee performance. Evidence of their commitment to safety can be seen systemwide. Following are a few examples from 2012:

  • Employees at our Enola, Pa., locomotive shop became the first work group to achieve 2 million consecutive employee-hours without a reportable injury.
  • Employees in six work groups reached 1 million consecutive hours of injury-free service. They are Detroit, Mich., terminal; Virginia Division communications and signals; Harrisburg, Pa., transportation; St. Louis, Mo., mechanical; Sheffield, Ala., mechanical; and Valdosta, Ga., operations.
  • Many Operations Division work groups finished 2012 without a reportable injury. By department and group, they include:
    • Mechanical: Locomotive shops at Shaffers Crossing, Va.; Bellevue, Ohio; Enola, Pa.; Roanoke, Va.; and Elkhart, Ind
    • Engineering:
      • Communications & signals in our Dearborn, Harrisburg, Virginia, Georgia, Pocahontas, and Central divisions
      • Communication & signals construction in our Western Region, Eastern Region, Northern Region Group 1, Northern Region Group 2, and Lines West CGA
      • Maintenance-of-way and structures at the maintenance equipment-south shop and our roadway material yard shop
    • Transportation: Terminals in Kansas City, Mo.; Conway, Pa.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Birmingham, Ala.; Roanoke, Va., St. Louis, Mo.; Harrisburg, Pa.; Cleveland, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; Detroit, Mich.; Allentown, Pa.; New Orleans, La.; Sheffield, Ala.; Toledo, Ohio; and Ashtabula, Ohio
LA7

Rates of injury, occupational diseases, lost days, and absenteeism, and number of work-related fatalities by region and by gender.

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