In a news release, Kansas City Southern Railroad has announced that its subsidiaries, KCSR and Tex Mex, were recognized with three safety awards at the annual E.H. Harriman Safety Awards ceremony, hosted by the Association of American Railroads in Washington, D.C. on May 16.
> KCSR received an E.H. Harriman Safety Award silver medal in Group B for line-haul railroads with four to 15 million employee-hours worked.
> Tex Mex received an E.H. Harriman Safety Award special certificate of commendation for continuous improvement in safety performance.
> Engineer Raul Martinez, based in Laredo, TX, received a Harold F. Hammond Award certificate of commendation for his work in enhancing safety.
KCS was represented at the ceremony by nine craft and management employees, including vice president and chief mechanical officer John Foster, transportation director safety Trenton Anderson, engineering director safety and training Ricky Briggs and mechanical assistant manager safety and training William Spencer of Shreveport, La., general director safety, health and operating practices Kevin McIntosh and conductor Ralph Manley of Kansas City, Mo., carman Sidney Magee of Jackson, Miss., engineer Raul Martinez of Laredo, TX and machine operator Marvin Meredith of Heavener, Okla.
In a news release about the ceremony on May 16, the Association of American Railroads announced that the employees of the nation's railroads reported their lowest employee casualty rate in history during 2005, and that the industry employee casualty rate has dropped almost 70 percent over the past 15 years. At the safety awards ceremony, 12 railroads received gold, silver or bronze E.H. Harriman Memorial Safety Awards in four separate categories.
Winners are chosen by a committee of individuals in the transportation field. Awards are granted to railroads on the basis of the lowest casualty rates per 200,000 employee-hours worked, with a formula that takes into account the volume of work performed, as well as the number of fatalities, injuries and occupational illnesses, all documented and confirmed by the Federal Railroad Administration.
The annual rail employee safety awards were founded in 1913 by the late Mrs. Mary W. Harriman in memory of her husband, Edward H. Harriman, a pioneer in American railroading. For many years, the program was sponsored by their two sons, E. Roland Harriman and the Honorable W. Averell Harriman, now both deceased. The awards are currently administered under the auspices of the E.H. Harriman Memorial Awards Institute, with support from the Mary W. Harriman Foundation.
At the time the Harriman Awards were founded, railroading was considered among the nation's most dangerous occupations. However, employee injury rates have declined sharply - with almost an 80 percent decline just since 1980 - and today railroad employees have injury rates comparable to employees in retail stores and lower than those in other modes of transportation.
The Harold F. Hammond Award was established in 1986 and is awarded to an individual railroad employee who has demonstrated outstanding safety achievement during the preceding year. It is named for the late Harold F. Hammond, former president of the Transportation Association of America, who had served many years as chairman of the Harriman Awards selection committee.