NS Describes Steps It is Taking to Stay Healthy

Norfolk Southern is taking a number of steps to protect the health of its employees during the COVID-19 pandemic while also doing its part to keep commerce flowing by rail

In an article written by the corporate communications staff that was published by NSBiz, the railroad described those steps.

That includes distributing hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and disinfectant sprays and wipes from its distribution center in Dayton, Ohio, that also supplies parts for railcars and locomotives to mechanical shops across the railroad’s network.

Those sanitation supplies are then delivered to rail yards, terminals and other operating facilities.

“We are taking a hard stance on sanitation and cleaning initiatives,” said Jason Eddy, senior director mechanical in Cincinnati.

“All departments are our boots on the ground looking at the work conditions and cleanliness, whether it’s crew rooms, yardmaster towers or locomotive cabs. It’s very serious business for us.”

In early March the NS sourcing department bought 30,000 half-gallon containers of hand sanitizer, which works out to a half-gallon for each NS railroader with 2,500 gallons to spare.

“Our supplier had enough raw material to make 15,000 gallons, so we bought it all,” said Jay Medlin, Group Manager Purchasing, based in Norfolk, Virginia.

NS has increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting workspaces, implemented social distancing measures, and is communicating to employees what they can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

That includes providing janitorial services to seven days a week in most places and twice a day in locations where there’s a lot of foot traffic.

The latter includes crew rooms at such busy terminals as Chicago and Toledo, Ohio.

NS officials said a special emphasis has been placed on cleaning and disinfecting locomotive cabs.

Before boarding, all train and engine crews are provided packs of wipes effective against the virus.

Vendors that provide taxi service and lodging for road train crews are also being checked to ensure they have adequate supplies of hand sanitizer and disinfectants.

As for social distancing practices, between work shifts, supervisors are avoiding face-to-face turnovers.

At some locations, NS staggered shift times for operations employees, allowing them to end their shifts 15 minutes early, with pay, to avoid mixing with co-workers arriving for the next shift.

In office locations, employees performing critical jobs to maintain operations, including train dispatchers, have been separated into different locations to ensure redundancy and also provided work spaces that limit unnecessary exposure to co-workers.

Employees able to perform their jobs without reporting to an office are working remotely.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: