Short Line Safety Institute “most comprehensive” in industry

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association
Image courtesy of ASLRRA

In a report issued June 7, the Short Line Safety Institute’s signature program – Safety Culture Assessment – model was determined to be “the most comprehensive or robust approach in the U.S. railroad industry” in evaluating safety culture.

“We are pleased to be recognized for providing industry-leading programs in safety culture for railroads,” said Tom Murta, executive director, Short Line Safety Institute. “Our comprehensive, non-punitive Safety Culture Assessments have provided insight to more than 70 short line railroads to date. The rigorous methodology we use has proven objective and helpful to railroads that have participated, leading to an ever-stronger safety environment on short line railroads.”

SLSI’s Safety Culture Assessment model was evaluated against merit criteria, which included multiple methods of measurement, multiple levels of measurement, in-situ observation, and safety policy review. According to the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, who conducted the evaluation, all key characteristics of a rigorous safety culture assessment model were not described as being utilized to assess safety culture in any of the sources reviewed, making the SLSI’s Assessment process unique and “exemplary for meeting the merit criteria for ‘rigor’.”

“The methods applied in the on-site evaluations and throughout the Assessment process has identified key industry best practices, and clear direction to the Institute on opportunity areas, resulting in the next wave of programs to assist short line railroads in continuously raising the bar on safety culture,” continued Murta.

To address opportunity areas identified in Safety Culture Assessments, the Short Line Safety Institute has developed programs to address Hazardous Material movement (Hazardous Material Training Program), soft-skill training (Leadership Development Training), and Safety Tips for use in railroad safety briefings. All Short Line Safety Institute programs are provided free of charge to the short line industry.

For more information on the Short Line Safety Institute’s programs visit www.shortlinesafety.org.

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