A monthly report from the Switching Operations Fatality Analysis (SOFA) Working Group reported six severe injuries to railroad workers during May 2018, including one amputation.
SOFA Working Group defines a severe injury as FRA-reportable injuries to train and engine service employees that have a clear and verifiable diagnosis and meet one or more of the following four criteria: (1) potentially life threatening; (2) high likelihood of permanent loss of function, permanent occupational limitation, or other permanent disability; (3) likely to result in significant work restrictions; or (4) result from a high energy impact to the human body.
The amputation to a leg or foot occurred in Missouri when a worker was trying to cross on a moving car and fell from it at an industrial location.
Four of the other five severe injuries reported by SOFA were fractures that came as a result of falls, while the fifth severe injury was a fracture that came as the result of an alleged assault by a passenger.
The SOFA Working Group is a voluntary, nonregulatory railroad safety partnership consisting of representatives from SMART Transportation Division, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) that has a goal of zero switching fatalities achieved through education and nonpunitive interactions.