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Focusing on situational awareness

In spite of railroad boasts that they have become safer, the fact is that railroad employee on-duty fatalities have been soaring, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.

Twenty-five railroad employees lost their lives in on-duty accidents during 2008, up from 16 in 2007. And 2009 got off to a horrific start, with 11 employee on-duty fatalities in just the first three months of the year.

Stunned by this sharp increase in rail-employee on-duty fatalities and career-ending injuries, UTU International President Mike Futhey appointed a four-person task force to craft, in conjunction with the FRA, an action plan to reduce rail-employee risk while on the job.

Leading the task force is UTU Arizona State Legislative Director Greg Hynes, who will work with UTU Arkansas State Legislative Director Steve Evans and Michigan State Legislative Director Jerry Gibson. Now retired Arizona State Legislative Director Scott Olson initially led the task force.

“I expect the task force to produce an effective solution that includes best practices and techniques to improve situational awareness and keep situational awareness it at its highest level,” Futhey said.

Olson said, “If this task force is to be effective, it must digest concerns and suggestions of those who work in the yards and aboard trains. That is the purpose of the link on this page encouraging members to communicate directly with the task force.”

What's New:

Rail safety concerns voiced by UTU members (07/19/10)

UTU Rail Safety Alert No. 6

UTU Rail Safety Alert No. 5 (12/16/09)

UTU Rail Safety Alert No. 4 (08/17/09)

An industry in crisis (05/27/09)

Safety Task Force Alerts Recommendations Contacts

Fallen UTU Members

UTU Rail Safety Alert No. 6

UTU Rail Safety Alert No. 5

UTU Rail Safety Alert No. 4

UTU Rail Safety Alert No. 3

UTU Rail Safety Alert No. 2

UTU Rail Safety Alert No. 1

Eight activities to get you home in one piece

First, let's get the facts right

UTU Rail Safety Task Force Members

State Legislative Directors

General Chairpersons

Designated Legal Counsel

Memorials to UTU members killed on the job in 2010

Memorials to UTU members killed on the job in 2009