Szabo: Moving in right direction thanks to SOFA

January 21, 2014


The following message was sent to the UTU National Legislative Office from Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo.


I wanted to share with you a rail safety achievement from 2013 that really meant a lot to me. Last year, only one railroad employee died during switching operations.

As I wrote on the DOT blog, this is more than a statistic to me. What’s more, I know that all of my FRA colleagues share my view that one worker fatality is one too many.

But we’re moving in the right direction – and that’s largely thanks to the Switching Operations Fatality Analysis Group (SOFA) formed in 1998 with FRA, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen, the United Transportation Union, the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, and the Association of American Railroads.

This is real proof that safety partnerships get results, serving our core goal of ensuring continuous safety improvement. With continued cooperation among SOFA’s stakeholders, I believe our ultimate goal of all rail workers returning home safely each day is now well within our reach.

Here’s another link to the blog: