Railroad workers are constantly in hazardous places and situation when dealing with various types of high powered machinery on a daily basis. These dangers were found to be true earlier this summer when two young railroad workers, 20 and 25 years old respectively, were fatally struck by a train while they were inspecting their own freight train.
To combat the dangerous daily situations that railroad workers must face there have been established safety procedures in place. Although this month CSX CEO Hunter Harrison has taken away some of these safety procedures, leading to an increase in the number of risky situations that current railroad workers may now find themselves in. These changes in safety policies are now instituted company-wide in efforts to speed up productivity, but may leave railroad workers vulnerable to injury.
One of the safety procedure to be thrown out is the longstanding “Three Step Protections.” The CSX online railroad dictionary defines this as, “Additional protection that is provided prior to employees fouling equipment. This procedure will require the locomotive engineer to apply the train brakes, place the reverser in neutral position, and open generator field switch.” Early reactions to this abrupt change in policy explain that without the “Three Step Protections” in place the hazard of more serious or life-threatening injuries are now present.