BRC has a strong safety foundation and history, and employees continuously strive for zero incidents. Presented with numerous safety awards through the years, BRC prides itself on the safe practices cultivated by everyone from department heads to employees. Their focus means fewer people experience pain and suffering.
At the BRC, safety is the culture. Over the past decade, the Belt has improved it’s infrastructure, removed old, outdated buildings, eliminated scrap and inventory not needed, updated the locomotive fleet, installed a new hump control system and provided new lighting in the East Classification Yard. Visitors to the Belt marvel at how clean and orderly the property is. An average 0f 20 million a year is spent on these and other improvements; it is money spent on investing in the future, and certainly plays a major role in accident prevention.
The labor-led BRC Safety Committee continues to drive the safety process at the Belt. This committee is the main communication conduit between labor and management. Craft members work with their peers daily, holding safety meetings or ensuring potentially unsafe conditions are corrected.
Employees who witness an unsafe condition should please call 4099 and then speak with the safety committee representative from their craft:
Jerry Conoboy – Police/risk management
Ryan Winter – Transportation
John Lucio – Car
Matt Davidson – Transportation
Phil Matejek – Transportation
Young Lee – Police
Joe Czerwinski – Mechanical
Thomas Swade -Transportation
WHAT IS OPERATION LIFESAVER?
Operation Lifesaver is a proactive public education program first established in 1972 to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and on railroad rights-of-way. Operation Lifesaver programs are supported by a wide variety of partners,including federal, state, and local government agencies, highway safety organizations, law enforcement, the nation’s railroads and their suppliers.
HOW DOES OPERATION LIFESAVER WORK?
Operation Lifesaver’s trained and certified speakers provides free safety presentations for people of all professions and age groups to help them make safe decisions around tracks and trains. Jerry Conoboy, Director of Police and Risk Management for the Belt Railway Co. of Chicago has established an Operation Lifesaver team consisting of presenters Young Lee, Joe Chacon, Jerry Conoboy and John Lucio. They utilize educational brochures, videos, and coloring books for children to convey Operation Lifesaver’s message of safety and to reduce risk taking behavior.
HOW CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPERATION LIFESAVER AND RAIL SAFETY?
Visit www.oli.org to find out more about rail safety for motorists and pedestrians. Free presentations are available for anyone who lives or travels near BRC train tracks: students, professional drivers, motorists, emergency responders and community leaders. To schedule a free presentation contact Director of Police and Risk Management Jerry Convoy and Young Lee by calling (312) 543 – 8269.
OPERATION LIFESAVER DRIVING TIPS:
ALWAYS EXPECT A TRAIN! Freight trains do not follow set schedules. Passenger train schedules change.
Never drive around lowered gates – it’s illegal and deadly. If you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, look for an emergency notification number posted on or near the crossing signal, or notify your local law enforcement agency.
Never race a train to the crossing – even if you tie, you lose!
Do not get trapped on the tracks. Only proceed through a highway rail grade crossing if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping. Remember, the train is three feet wider than the tracks on both sides. A safe stopping distance from the tracks is 15 feet.
If your vehicle stalls on a crossing, immediately get everyone out and far away from the tracks. Call your local law enforcement agency for assistance.
Do not be fooled by the optical illusion – the train you see may be closer and faster moving than it appears to be. If you see a train approaching, wait for it to go by before you proceed across the tracks.
At a multiple track crossing waiting for a train to pass, watch out for a second train on the other tracks, approaching in either direction.
Be aware that trains cannot stop quickly. Even if the locomotive engineer sees you, a freight train moving at 55 miles per hour can take a mile or more to stop once the emergency brakes are applied. That’s 18 football fields!