Mark Kalina Jr. says the biggest lesson he learned: ‘I am not invincible.’
Norfolk, Va., September 3, 2015 /3BL Media/ - Mark Kalina Jr. survived being run over by a freight train, but he lost both legs in the accident. In a gripping new safety video produced by Norfolk Southern, Kalina warns of the tragic consequences of trespassing on railroad tracks.
Norfolk Southern recognizes that the company’s long-term sustainability is connected with identifying and managing risks that could affect business outcomes — both negatively and positively.
The company’s board of directors is responsible for the oversight of risk management efforts. The board works with management to set corporate objectives around risk management, and management implements a program based on these objectives.
A commitment to working safely is ingrained in Norfolk Southern’s corporate culture — it is the “S” in our SPIRIT values. The company’s No. 1 priority is for employees to end the workday the same way they began it — safe and sound.
NS’ focus on environmental, health, and safety, or EHS, leadership, earned the railroad membership in the Campbell Institute at the National Safety Council.
Norfolk Southern in early 2015 completed rollout of the railroad’s “next-generation” train-dispatching system to optimize train movements across the network and enhance customer service. In a significant milestone, every division on the railroad as of March 2015 was using the RailEdge Movement Planner, a computer software program that is the rail equivalent of an automated air traffic control system. Movement Planner analyzes hundreds of daily train schedules and voluminous amounts of operating data to generate the most efficient plan for moving trains across the network.
Norfolk Southern is partnering with cities to reduce locomotive emissions in congested urban areas where we operate rail yards. The company’s strategy involves purchasing new low-emissions engines; coupling locomotives with engineless “slugs” that add emissions-free pulling power; and installing plug-in engine heating systems that reduce locomotive idling. While improving air quality, the effort reduces fuel use and operating expenses.
In 2014, Norfolk Southern invested $2.1 billion in capital projects and railroad assets to maintain the franchise and expand business opportunities. The expenditures consumed about 18 cents of every dollar of railway operating revenues generated during the year.
The safe transport of customers’ freight is essential to Norfolk Southern’s long-term business success. The company’s strategy is threefold: prevention, mitigation, and emergency response. The railroad carries out this mission through investments in rail infrastructure improvements and technologies; extensive employee training; partnering with all levels of government; training local first responders; and carefully coordinating the shipment of product with customers.
Safety at Norfolk Southern is led by employees. In 2014, operations employees participated in two voluntary peer-to-peer initiatives to reduce at-risk work behaviors. One focused on eliminating distractions caused by use of electronic devices and the other on incidents known as “close calls.”
In 2010, Norfolk Southern set an ambitious five-year goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent for every revenue ton-mile of freight our trains transport. In 2014, the final year, the company reduced emissions 8.5 percent per revenue ton-mile, or 85 percent of the goal.