ASLRRA congratulates our 2020 Safety Person of the Year:
The Belt Railway Company of Chicago
In May of 2019, Belt Railway experienced their second reportable injury of the year. A detailed analysis of the causal factors of the recent injuries and the group’s processes and procedures came from the determination of Jose Jimenez, a 24-year veteran of the Mechanical Department at the BRC.
Jimenez identified that the hazards did not lie in the major infrequent projects, such as engine overhauls. Instead, the lack of standard processes within the common tasks of the department exposed a set of risks that had been overlooked. Standard tasks of a shop were reviewed, which directly influenced the approach that his shop took towards risk reduction in their workplace.
“Jose is an employee that any railway could only hope to have, one who takes an interest in the lives of others, and who spends personal time helping people, some of whom he may never have known,” says Harold Kirman, Secretary and Director of Compliance. Kirman went on to say that Jimenez “serves as an inspiration to his colleagues, and to the entire BRC organization, never being satisfied with the status quo, while setting an example for all of us to follow.”
Mr. Jimenez took the lead in producing new and improved safety procedures within his workplace. Through the adjustments of pinch points, safety chains, general housekeeping, and the use of proper tools, he altered the effectiveness of his work group, and the safety of what they did, resulting in renewed focus on the part of the workgroup to put their performance in line with the BRC’s core competencies, ensuring that each of them went home safely every day. As the results improved, motivation improved, and his actions began to influence the entire team. Most importantly, the BRC has seen no additional injuries since the project was initiated.
Off-duty, Jimenez continues to heed the strong call to service as his son’s basketball coach, engaging in school activities, and serving as a volunteer for the Special Olympics alongside his wife Maggie.