Week 1 - By using a locomotive or heavy loaded car, clearing crossings and flangeways from any built up ice in the winter may help prevent derailments of lighter cars or equipment passing over these areas. Ice build up can accumulate quickly and so performing this "ice-breaker" with heavier loaded cars or locomotives on a regular basis can help you clear the path for further movement.
- Let's start the conversation about locomotive, equipment, and company vehicle winter safety. When getting on and off equipment, be sure to check the walkways, ladders, side sills, and handrails for snow or ice build up before use. Clear the snow and ice before use.
For those affected by winter conditions, additional hazards may be possible and so being aware of these elements can help you and your team avoid injuries or accidents. Ensure firm footing when entraining and detraining locomotive and car ladders, walking platforms, and side sills. If you see ice or snow, say something. We are all responsible for safety. Talk to your co-workers today about this safety tip!
Week 3 - This week brief with your team about slippery conditions that may be present in winter. Ladders, platforms, and side sills may accumulate slippery conditions due to snow, ice, or other debris from winter storms. Be sure you inspect the area before you step on it, clear of snow or ice if present, and secure firm footing on the car stirrup rung or ladder. Avoid riding the side of the car if these elements are present to prevent a slip injury.
Week 4 -This week brief with your team about slippery conditions that may be present in winter. Ladders, platforms, and side sills may accumulate slippery conditions due to snow, ice, or other debris from winter storms. Be sure you inspect the area before you step on it, clear of snow or ice if present, and secure firm footing on the car stirrup rung or ladder. Avoid riding the side of the car if these elements are present to prevent a slip injury.
Week 5 - Don't be in the dark about Safety! Winter months have fewer hours of daylight. This could lead to reduced visibility outdoors. Be sure you check the batteries and functionality of your lanterns or other railroad approved flashlight/ lighting or reflective equipment to see your way at work when daylight is limited. Don't be in the dark about safety! Be prepared!
Week 6 - Wintry conditions may cause ice, slush, or snow build up on the roads. When driving, set the example and ensure a safe distance between your vehicle and the tracks. Test your brakes frequently for proper operation. Cross check and look in both directions for any approaching movement before crossing a grade crossing. If you see or hear of a grade crossing that is malfunctioning, report it immediately. It is all of our responsibilities to make safety a priority not only for our own safety, but for our railroads, our families, and our communities.Cross check your crossings each and everyday!
Week 7 - Structures, roofs, and gutters can collect snow. We are not out of winter just yet and so this snow or ice can melt one day and then re-freeze the next! Be sure you are aware of any location that may have run-off potential. Identify any area with run-off water accumulating from building and structures, and avoid use of these areas until the snow, ice, or water is cleared. If you identify these areas enroute, be sure to brief with your co-workers and fellow crew members about these areas to avoid injury. It is always helpful to check and brief about the weather as well, as conditions can change at any time.
Week 8 - Safety Tip 8 lands on Valentine's Day! Make sure you go home to your "sweet-heart" by taking care of yours! Do not over-exert yourself when conducting physical labor or handling switches and other equipment, especially in Winter when ice or other conditions may be present. Ask for a helping hand to avoid injury and always communicate the safest course! Stretches before any work activity begins is a great idea to incorporate into your routine!
Week 9 - This week's tip focuses on the importance of hydration. Although we think mainly about ice and snow conditions during winter, water is another element to consider on a daily basis. In the winter, the temperatures are lower, therefore we wear more clothes and insulation to stay warm. When we work outside, our bodies sweat even in colder temperatures, and with more insulation, we could sweat even more than normal! Ensure you have enough water packed with you throughout the day, whether that is on a long haul ride or in the yard. Check with your co-workers to see if they have enough water, and frequently replenish and hydrate yourself to stay healthy!....And throw those water bottles away in the proper place, not on or near the tracks or equipment! Help the environment and help prevent an injury!
Week 10 - Never Turn Your Back on Safety! Wind, snow, fog and other conditions can muffle sounds that may otherwise alert us of an approaching train, hi-rail, or other equipment. Always look both ways before fouling the tracks each and EVERY time! Stay on point and extra vigilant when these conditions are present. Make sure you and your crew have a clear understanding of the work to be performed and look out for each other and yourself throughout the day or night. Make safety a good habit, never turn your back on safe course!
Week 11 - We are not out of the woods just yet with winter! When it is cold in our work environment, it is easy to only think about how cold you are instead of the job at hand. Focus on your duties, have a complete job briefing, and ensure time for breaks to warm up. The extremities of your body feel the effects of cold wind chills and temperatures first, even when covered up with gloves or insulated boots, so make sure you are able to function for the period of time of work that is expected. Communicate to your team when and how often breaks could be taken to warm up and re-hydrate. Hurrying to get the job done when it's cold outside, could quicken your road to injury. Think things through and avoid risks by taking your time to do your job safely, not quickly. Take a break to warm up rather than a shortcut to disaster!
Week 12 - How many water bottles can you find in this picture? There are flattened, squished, and full sized water bottles throughout this picture, each showing a different place a hazard can hide. Whether its jammed into the side of a car, or laying in the low parts of the right of way, ignored debris can cause trips if we aren't careful and looking out for our own and each others safety everyday.As the snow starts to melt away, hazards may become more apparent such as water bottles and other debris. To prevent trips, pick up trash on the ground and place it in the proper bin or dumpster for disposal. If you don't have a garbage right away, store or hold on to it until your trip is over to discard it appropriately, instead of tossing it in the yard. Report or replace and empty trash bins frequently or when it is full! Have a conversation with your team today about trash removal and pick up to avoid trips!