2015 Nov.-Dec. ST Report -- Health and Safety Survey

Published: Mar 31 2016 11:17AM

Secretary-Treasurer’s Report

In the coming months, every BMWED member and several thousand retirees will be asked to fill out a confidential Health and Safety survey.  This Brotherhood-wide survey is part of a comprehensive research study commissioned by the National Division to address the long-standing absence of high quality data reflecting the nature, frequency, severity and socio-economic consequences of safety and health issues impacting Maintenance of Way (MOW) employees.  Your input is absolutely vital to this research. As a member of BMWED you alone are the best source of information regarding MOW working conditions and the safety and healthimpacts on you and your fellow Brothers and Sisters.

We all know of friends and co-workers who have become sick or injured on the job.  Unfortunately, some of these Brothers and Sisters have been unable to return to work and some have even died, or died well before their time.  To help us address and mitigate the risks of MOW work, we need to understand and quantify those risks. 
As a former trackman I have thoughts, ideas, and experiences to share but I am only one person. I know you too have thoughts, ideas, and experiencesto share regarding the short- and long-term risks of MOW work.  However, until now no one has ever attempted to compile this data in a comprehensive and scientifically validated manner that can be used to benefit the safety and health of past, current and future BMWED members.  That dearth of information is about to change with your help!

This confidential research will be conducted by a select teamof highly credentialed academic and medical researchers with significant experience in occupational safety and health.  The research team will focus their studies on areas of concern identified by active and retired BMWED members, beginning with the forthcoming confidential membership survey.  Once the data collection process is complete, the data will bede-identified, aggregated, analyzed, and turned over to the BMWED.We fully anticipate that this unprecedented effort will document the safety and health impacts of MOW work on our retired, active and future members and will be invaluable to our risk reduction efforts in improving the safety and health conditions under which our members work.

This research project is being coordinated by the BMWED Department of Safety and will involve researchers from several renowned universities and medical institutions.  The research will be totally confidential and no one from the union or the railroad will have access to your survey responses.  Only our medical and academic researchers will see your survey under the strictest medical and ethical protocols.  Your survey will be identified only by a coded number.  All data collected will be legally protected from discovery and it will be impossible to attribute individual survey responses to you or any other member.  

Regardless of all the confidentiality protections in place and the quality of our research team, we cannot be successful without your direct participation and input.  You are the single most important key to the success of this project, so please fill out the survey in its entirety when your letter arrives and encourage your Brothers and Sisters to do the same.

This is the chance of our lifetimes to make a real difference in the lives of current and future members and retirees.  Your input is absolutely vital becauseNO ONE—not the railroad, not the government, not the union—knows MOW work better than YOU!