Transportation continues remarkable safety achievement

More than 150 Transportation employees collectively reached an outstanding milestone in January: 700 days without a reportable injury.

Assistant Director of Safety Mark Labbe regards the accomplishment as rare for a large work group, noting the Belt’s employees operate several switches while performing numerous train movements. They also work in a high-volume environment that includes foreign traffic and occasional inclement weather.

Labbe called the employees’ performance “remarkable” and attributed their success to a caring commitment to each other’s safety. Good communication, which includes listening to their co-workers and modifying procedures when practical, also has been key.

The assistant director of safety also credits President Michael Grace with helping to facilitate that communication, valuing employees’ input and spearheading the successful after-action review process.

Reaching the next milestone will require employees’ efforts to navigate winter’s harshest weeks, which includes donning lightweight spiked overshoes when extra foot traction is needed.

Labbe takes safety role

Mark Labbe looks forward to leveraging his conductor and railroad trainer experience in his new role as Assistant Director of Safety.

Labbe now oversees other managers and works with foreign railroads to ensure the Belt’s safety requirements and expectations are met.

As his new job provides him with a platform to enthusiastically teach others, Labbe said, “We see the results we’ve had and want to continue our success. Part of that is educating employees and getting everyone on the same page.” 

Moving ahead, Labbe says he values employee feedback, noting their insights are crucial to ensuring that the Belt is better tomorrow than it is today. 

“We want to know what we can do to make each employee’s job more efficient and practical,” he said.