On June 12, The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced the award winners (see the full list here) for their annual Rail Safety & Security Excellence Awards, which recognizes North American rail systems for security and safety programs. The 2017 winners were selected because they had safety programs that innovate to make rail systems even safer. Use the following questions to effectively evaluate your program and help you join this elite club in 2018.

How Effective Is My Safety Program?

The APTA cited one statistic, specifically, when they awarded the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) a Gold Award. The rail system has not had a single employee or contractor fatality on the right of way since 2001.

Effectively evaluating a new safety initiative requires two things: a goal and quality data. The goal focuses your initiative on improving specific areas and on how to measure progress. The APTA suggests asking yourself these questions:

  • Does the program/project have a clear focus as well as specific intended/measurable results?
  • Is there before/after data that will support the efficacy of the program/project?
  • Can the program/project be reasonably assumed to have led to the improvements?
  • Does data support that reductions are being sustained?

How Has The Safety Program Financially Benefited Your Company?

While new safety guidelines can cost money and time, the resulting safety improvements may benefit your bottom line. Ask yourself these questions to help evaluate whether your improvements are cost-effective:

  • Where is the program saving the company money?
  • What is the cost of maintaining the safety program?
  • What other benefits does the program provide?

A good safety program will not only prevent accidents, but it will also save the company money by making gains in key performance metrics.

Is Your Program Innovative?

Innovation makes up 20% of the consideration for the award, which APTA Acting President Richard White highlighted, “This year’s winners show that the industry is continuing to innovate as we make riding on rail public transit safe and secure.” An effective safety program must keep up with a changing environment and changing technology.

  • Are you evolving with the new technology?
  • Have you questioned and altered old training standards?
  • Do you have a unique process?

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority was selected for an innovative, collaborative program that linked the network to the LA Sheriff’s department and a local nonprofit to establish a hotline that improved security and safety.

Are You Able to Package and to Share Your Safety Program?

Awards like this one highlight excellence so the rest of the industry can apply lessons from their success. Each of the awarded rail networks provides a safety model that can be replicated by others to improve the whole industry.

  • Are you able to share the principals of your safety program in a way that other companies can learn from?
  • Does your safety initiative address an issue that applies to many agencies?
  • Can you package your initiative to effectively spread the word?

If you’re an industry leader, other companies need to know how to follow your example.

The APTA Rail Safety & Security Excellence Awards focus the industry on improving safety for employees, contractors, riders, and pedestrians. Even if you aren’t selected for a Gold Award in 2018, a review of your safety process will help ensure that your company is in the right hands.

If you have any questions about the benefits and how to increase the safety of contractors on your organizations’ job sites, do not hesitate to reach out to our team by clicking here. Thank you for reading!




*This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice.