ROANOKE, Va. — Norfolk Southern’s Roanoke Locomotive Shops achieved 1 million injury-free employee-hours in March. The facility near downtown Roanoke, which employs about 200 people in the heavy maintenance and overhaul of the railroad’s locomotive fleet, reached the milestone March 12 after 3-1/2 years without an injury.
Chuck Sloan, shop manager, attributed the achievement to “TEAMWORK – in all capital letters. It’s a cooperative effort between labor and management that focuses on safety, operating performance, and customer service. We have strong, proactive safety committees to support these efforts. The dedication, commitment, and teamwork of everyone in the shop made this possible.”
This is the first time the Roanoke Locomotive Shops achieved the million-employee-hour mark. The facility, where employees log more than 900 employee-hours a day in activities that include operating heavy machinery, had not had a reportable injury since Oct. 9, 2007.
For 21 years in a row, Norfolk Southern has won the E. H. Harriman gold medal award for employee safety for achieving the rail industry’s lowest employee personal injury ratio. Norfolk Southern has won the award every year since 1989. (The awards for 2010 have not yet been announced.) The Harriman awards are presented annually for outstanding performance in railroad safety to the U.S. railroads whose employees have the lowest number of injuries for every 200,000 employee-hours worked.