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Switching Operations Fatality Analysis

In February 1998, a Switching Operations Fatalities Analysis (SOFA) working group, with representatives from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), labor and management was formed at the request of the FRA to review employee fatalities and to develop recommendations for reducing fatalities in switching operations.

The UTU is represented in the SOFA group by Louisiana State Legislative Director Gary Devall (1501), Minnesota State Legislative Director Phil Qualy (650) and Kansas State Legislative Director Ty Dragoo (1503).

In an effort to reduce injuries and fatalities, the group recommends that employees practice the following five life-savers:

  1. Secure all equipment before action is taken.
  2. Protect employees against moving equipment.
  3. Discuss safety at the beginning of a job or when work changes.
  4. Communicate before action is taken.
  5. Mentor less experienced employees to perform service safely.

To view the Fourth Quarter 2010 update as reported by the SOFA Working Group, click here.
To view the Second Quarter 2010 update as reported by the SOFA Working Group, click here.
To view the First Quarter 2010 update as reported by the SOFA Working Group, click here.
To view the Third Quarter 2009 update as reported by the SOFA Working Group, click here.
To view the Second Quarter 2009 update as reported by the SOFA Working Group, click here.
To view the First Quarter 2009 update as reported by the SOFA Working Group, click here.
To view the Fourth Quarter 2008 update as reported by the SOFA Working Group, click here.
To view the Third Quarter 2008 update as reported by the SOFA Working Group, click here.
To view the Second Quarter 2008 update as reported by the SOFA Working Group, click here.
To view the First Quarter 2008 update as reported by the SOFA Working Group, click here.

(Note: SOFA updates are published quarterly.)

To view an archive of past SOFA Working Group reports, click archive.

For more information about the SOFA group, visit the FRA Web site at:

  • The SOFA page on the FRA website is currently down.