Safety Third

BLET 104 Safety Advocate System believes that the basis for trust is in honest communication.

Safety 3rd is a safety initiative being driven by BLET Division 104, in an effort to reduce injuries and bring a sense of honesty back to the conversation of safety. The statement that safety is number one cannot be taken seriously because the follow-up conversation never includes the real honest statement that, safety has a price. Were it not for us as Engineers and the BNSF putting a price on safety, we would never get out of bed because it is too risky. It turns out though that we do get out of bed, into a slippery shower, into a metal coffin (car), and onto the highway, in order to get to work to make money. It is all about risk management and determining the risk versus the reward.

Why is BNSF so averse to this honest conversation on the property? Probably because it isn’t quick and requires time and effort. It is only when we talk honestly with each other that we will start to take each other seriously.

If the message on BNSF property, about safety being number 1, keeps getting repeated, someone might actually believe that someone other than themselves has their best interest and safety as a priority. An honest assessment of our workplace is that we trade risk for money to feed our families. There is nothing wrong with this cold calculus. It is true and accurate.

Let’s stop the lies about safety. BNSF pays me to assess risks and move freight. It is their part of the bargain to pay me for my exposure to risk. It is my part of the bargain, with my family, to get myself home safely.

If the BNSF will provide us the tools to work safely then we can assess each situation, abate the risk as much as possible and haul the freight.

Safety 3rd is an honest statement that needs to be driven so that no one ever again assumes that someone else cares more about their safety than they do.

Please take the time to watch and consider the Mike Rowe Dirty Jobs video.

An honest conversation will build relationships and trust. Most importantly it will lead to my safe return every time I go to work and trade risk for cash.