RailCrew Commits to Multifaceted Safety Program
The RailCrew Xpress transports railroad crews to and from jobsites The company’s safety program maintains the well-being of employees and clients.
RailCrew Xpress holds a unique niche in the transportation industry. Serving railroads such as Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe, the company transports rail crews between their end destinations and the home rail depots, helping crews meet safety standards regarding allowable working hours. With railroads as its primary clients, RailCrew Xpress (RCX) meets high standards of safety, and with nearly 700 Ford and Chevy passenger vans on the road, processes must be clear and consistent, and must permeate all levels of the business.
Where many companies are responsible only for the safety of their own employees, RCX's business is to ensure the safety of conductors and engineers as well. This responsibility essentially doubles RCX's liability - and heightens the need for an effective safety program.
"Railroad workers fall under the Federal Employer's Liability Act," said Kelley Merrick, RCX claims director. "A great deal of the traditional Workers' Compensation liability of the railroad is transferred contractually to the crew hauler."
While RCX is not a DOT-regulated carrier, the company follows most DOT driver qualification procedures. To this end, RCX employs a two-pronged approach to safety initiatives: prevention and accident response.
Prevention Actions Include In-Vehicle Cameras & Training
Before drivers set out on the road, RCX screens their criminal records and driving histories to confirm none of their drivers have prior incidents that could indicate future issues. RCX repeats driver's license checks annually, using a point-scale to rate each offense. If a driver reaches a certain number of points, RCX issues a letter stating prior offenses could jeopardize the driver's eligibility to drive fleet vehicles.
In addition to license checks, RCX reviews drivers' actual on-the-job performance. Several fleet vehicles are equipped with cameras. Employees are asked to review "recordable events" and report them to their managers. Managers review the videos and directly address the performance issue or safety violation.
Another measure taken to prevent accidents is safety training at all levels of the organization. Regional and location managers attend Field Leadership Training, an intensive course that covers a wide range of topics to help managers ensure a safe environment that protects employees and customers. Drivers attend the Professional Driver Orientation and Training Program, a comprehensive program that trains drivers to be aware of safety issues. To qualify, drivers must also pass a ride-along.