BNSF Railway employee wins Hammond award
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WASHINGTON, D.C. — For his significant contributions to railroad safety both on the job and in his community, Robert F. "Bob" Johnson with BNSF Railway, today was named the 2008 winner of the Harold F. Hammond Award for railroad safety. In nominating him for the Hammond Award, BNSF Chairman, President and CEO Matthew K. Rose said Mr. Johnson has demonstrated outstanding safety achievements throughout his career.

As a machinist with more than 36 years of service at BNSF Railway, Mr. Johnson has participated in and developed numerous projects and innovations, including bi-directional blue flags for worker protection, a universal fit locomotive stairwell platform, a structurally engineered traction motor storage rack and a locomotive cab window removal tool and process. All of these projects have contributed significantly to the safety and efficiency of BNSF operations.

In addition to his work at BNSF Railway, Mr. Johnson is active in a number of railroad related community safety initiatives. He volunteers for Operation Lifesaver, a nationwide, non-profit public information program dedicated to reducing collisions, injuries and fatalities at highway-rail crossings and in and on railroad rights-of-way.

Mr. Johnson also acts as a safety trainer and a liaison to emergency responders in several communities. He participates in the division and terminal safety committees and represents Northtown Diesel Shop as a member of the Minnesota Safety Council. As a result of his efforts, the Diesel Shop received the 2007 Governor’s Award for Meritorious Achievement in Occupational Safety and Injury Prevention in the Workplace. Mr. Johnson was also the recipient of the prestigious National Safety Council Advanced Safety Certificate and has CAOHC certification as an occupational hearing conservationist.

Believing that many injuries could be prevented or the effects minimized through physical fitness, Mr. Johnson was instrumental in the development of the R. F. Johnson Fitness Center More than 400 employees have voluntarily completed a 30-minute fitness center orientation and have 24-hour access to this resource.

His expertise and experience have been recognized by his home town of City of Coon Rapids, and named by the City Council to the Coon Rapids Safety Commission in 2004.

Seven other railroad employees were honored with Certificates of Commendation for their work in enhancing safety. They are:

* David Cowan, a superintendent with Amtrak in Los Angeles
* Gary Deval, a conductor with CN in Baton Rouge, La.
* Trevor Shatek, a signal maintainer with Canadian Pacific Railway in St. Paul, Minn.
* Larry Davis, an electrician with CSX Transportation in Cumberland, Md.
* Ronnie Benefield, a carman with Kansas City Southern Railway Company in Monroe, Okla.
* Jerry Bean, an engineer with Norfolk Southern Corporation in Decatur, Ill.
* Israel Maldonado, a carman with Union Pacific Railroad in Stockton, Calif.

The Harold F. Hammond Award was established in 1986 and is awarded to an individual railroad employee who has demonstrated outstanding safety achievement during the preceding year. It is named for the late Harold F. Hammond, former president of the Transportation Association of America, who had served many years as chairman of the Harriman Awards selection committee.
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