A New Perspective on Safety

LadderWith Safety Week upon us, we would like to highlight a very thought-provoking article in Engineering News-Record (April 10, 2017) on the way we perceive near misses and close calls on the project site.  These incidents are defined as “unexpected events that cause no significant property damage or injury.” Robin L. Dillon-Merrill, a professor at Georgetown University, believes that when we look at such events as evidence that our safety plan is working, we are in actuality reinforcing dangerous behavior.  In other words, these close calls are not safety successes, but rather potential accidents that need to be examined for their potential hazard. Continue Reading…

Tracking Positive Train Control Implementation

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With a December 31st implementation deadline fast approaching, positive train control (PTC) has recently been in the news, as railroads try to meet a deadline that may not be realistically possible.

PTC is a safety overlay utilizing computers, transponders, and GPS to stop or slow a train automatically before certain types of accidents occur, thereby overriding operator error. A properly functioning PTC system must be able to determine the precise location, direction, and speed of trains; warn train operators of potential problems; and take immediate action if the operator does not respond to warnings. PTC is capable of preventing train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, unauthorized incursion into work zones and train movement through switches left in the wrong position. Continue Reading…