Making Caltrain Safer

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At Caltrain, safety isn't just a priority—it's a core value that informs every decision we make and action we take. Our dedication to ensuring the safety of our passengers, employees, and the communities we serve is unwavering. This commitment has only strengthened in the wake of the incident in San Bruno on March 10, 2022. While the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has provided its final report on this event, our focus remains on looking forward, learning from this unfortunate circumstance, and reinforcing our safety culture in meaningful and lasting ways.

In the aftermath of the incident, we've undertaken a comprehensive approach to enhance our safety protocols and nurture a culture of safety that aligns with our mission and core values. Here are three significant strides we've made toward this goal:

Leadership and Organizational Commitment to Safety

Understanding the crucial role of leadership in fostering a culture of safety, Caltrain has established the position of Chief Safety Officer. This role is central to spearheading the adoption of new, rigorous safety measures and ensuring their seamless integration across our operations. These measures include advanced roadway worker protection processes and additional checks to ensure the clarity and safety of track access and usage.

Involving and engaging employees in all areas of the operations is critical to creating a safety-first culture. That’s why we  launched the Safety Champions Committee, a cross-departmental group of employees dedicated to promoting safety through Reporting, Recognition, Training and Communications. This committee's ongoing efforts were highlighted at our Safety Champions Summit in January, where we set ambitious goals for 2024 aimed at enhancing data use, boosting employee engagement and ensuring accountability.

Industry-Leading Worker Protections

Caltrain has set a new standard in the industry for the protection of our workers, especially those responsible for roadway protection. By imposing the most stringent limits in the nation on the maximum work hours per week for these employees, we prioritize their health and safety above all. Our roadway protection workers play a critical role in maintaining our operations, and it's our duty to safeguard their well-being.

Embedding Safety in Daily Operations

Our commitment to safety extends beyond policies and into the very fabric of our daily operations. We've institutionalized safety briefings at the start of all meetings and work tasks, established a safety recognition award to honor employees who contribute to our safety culture, and encouraged the reporting of any unsafe practices or situations. This approach ensures that safety is always front and center in our minds and actions.

As we progress towards the launch of electrified service, our focus on safety becomes even more critical. It's a complex endeavor to manage and operate an active rail corridor, but our dedication to safety is the guiding principle that navigates us through these challenges.

The progress we've made and continue to make in enhancing safety is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our employees and contractors. Their commitment to implementing these vital changes has been instrumental in our journey toward ensuring that the events of March 2022 are never repeated.

Caltrain remains steadfast in its commitment to safety, continually seeking ways to improve and adapt our practices to meet the highest standards. We will continue to update you on the actions and programs that we undertake and our results in our  journey towards a safer future. We are grateful for the support and dedication of our entire Caltrain community as we work together to make every journey safe.

Dan Lieberman, March 27, 2024