Class 1 Railroad

Hile Group’s Safety Rule Book process was the standard bearer for a suite of performance interventions for this railroad, which began in an attempt to prevent a spike in incidents and injuries during a period of drastic reorganization at the beginning of the last decade. The participative nature of Rule Book development was needed to ensure that attitudes and practices changed not just in writing, but in the field. The resulting Live Injury-Free Everyday (L.I.F.E) rule book is recognized by rail industry safety professionals as an industry best.

The open communication between management and craft employees strengthened by the Rule Book Process substantially improved relationships between management and labor. A resolution process that streamlined negotiations of organizational issues between labor, management, and the Federal Railroad Administration was introduced as a result. The new resolution process committee included numerous members of the safety rule book Core and Satellite teams, who were able to work from relationships they built between unions and management during the rule book process.

Despite the organizational change, Hile Group helped the company prevent a spike in incident and injury rates. One subsidiary experienced only a mild 1.5 percent increase it its Frequency Index (FI), while another saw a 22 percent FI improvement. Costs associated with derailment were also reduced by 50 percent, and legal cases shifted away from high-cost, juried resolutions for claims toward settlements.