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UP: Employee injury rate hit record low in 2016

Union Pacific Railroad's employee injury rate declined 14 percent last year compared with the 2015 rate, marking the railroad's best annual employee-safety rate, UP reported Wednesday. The company's employee reportable injury rate is measured by injuries for every 200,000 employee hours worked. UP's rate declined from 0.87 in 2015 to 0.75 in 2016. "Union Pacific's employees achieved an incredible milestone reflecting their dedication to operating safely in work areas and the communities we serve," said Rod Doerr, vice president – safety, in a press release. "This unrelenting focus ensures everyone goes home safely as we work toward our ultimate goal of zero accidents." Additionally, UP posted a 3 percent improvement in its 2016 derailment rate compared with 2015. The reportable rail equipment incident rate per million train miles dropped from 3.10 in 2015 to 3.02 in 2016. The Class I applies a variety of safety and risk mitigation activities, such as the "Courage to Care" program that encourages employees to "look out for their peers and 'stop the line' on any operation that could result in an incident," UP officials said. The railroad also occasionally stops systemwide operations for "safety stand-downs," during which employees have candid discussions about safety.

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