Rail care movers are formidable pieces of equipment used to move railroad cars around in a rail yard. Capable of being driven on the ground and on rails, rail car movers are so large, that they are capable of moving loads in excess of 50,000 pounds making proper safety procedures just as big of a deal as they have become. And with their versatility and massive weight comes a number of rail car mover safety best practices that we are going to spend the rest of this post discussing.
- Getting on and off equipment while it’s moving. DOH! While this has been a common practice in the rail road industry for 100 years, we are starting to see a shift in whether or not people are continuing to see this as an acceptable practice. One of the major concerns with not allowing employees to move on and off this moving equipment was concern about a drop in productivity. However, in the last decade or so, we’ve seen mounting and dismounting equipment while it’s moving becoming less and less common with a dramatic decrease in the associated injuries and virtually no impact on productivity.
- Foul of the tracks. This is possibly one of the riskiest habits you can develop in a rail yard. Not only is it careless, but it can end up causing disfiguring injuries and even death. When in a rail yard you should expect movement at just about any time. And even though they weight thousands of pounds a rolling rail car can be a silent force to be reckoned with. So if you have a habit of standing or walking foul of track, stop, it’s a gamble where you might lose the ultimate bet.
- Maintain proper distance. Whether you are standing around or crossing between equipment, you should always have at least 50 feet between you and the equipment. Same goes for crossing in-between equipment. In an active rail yard, there’s always a chance for equipment to inadvertently move when you aren’t anticipating and without the proper distance between it and you to allow time for reaction, this could possibly be your last shift.
- Unattended equipment should be left abandoned. This one of the easiest and most often overlooked elements in a rail yard. Unattended equipment MUST ALWAYS be secured. Air brakes are a first line of defense protection against equipment moving, however, they can sometimes leak off if equipment isn’t properly secured. It just takes on unintentional bump, gust of wind, or shift in the earth to set in place a potentially tragic chain of events.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. Just because you are aware of which tracks are live and what movements are occurring during a particular shift, does not mean that everyone knows that information or has paid attention to that information. Conducting daily job site briefings can help clear up any misunderstandings or miscommunications, keeping everyone in the rail yard safe and sounds.
We offer on-site rail car mover safety training for customers who prefer a traditional classroom setting with hands-on training in their own facilities. Our on-site training is comprehensive, economical, and mirrors our online course. This training is provided to both those moving rails cars and those working near, on or under the cars or tracks and offers the benefit of instructor/student interaction and the opportunity to discuss site-specific scenarios.
To learn more about or get pricing on BEB’s rail car mover safety training, visit our site or call, (844) 755-8523.