September 18, 2023

‘Enough is enough’: Union calls for safety review after death of CSX carman

The rail union representing a carman who was fatally injured while working at a CSX rail yard in Ohio on Sunday is calling for the rail industry to examine its procedures on operating remote-controlled locomotives.

The Transportation Communications Union (TCU/IAM) and Brotherhood of Railway Carmen (BRC) identified the CSX employee as Fred Anderson. Other information, such as how long he worked at CSX, was not given.

“These tragedies are very painful reminders that the work our members perform is dangerous and unforgiving. My deepest condolences go out to the family and coworkers of Brother Anderson, and our union stands ready to assist in any way possible,” TCU/IAM National President Artie Maratea said in a Sunday statement. 

Maratea said the incident could have involved a remote-controlled locomotive. If so, this would be the third carman fatality involving the remote-controlled locomotives, according to Maratea. He didn’t specify when those other incidents occurred.

CSX experienced other fatalities this summer; those involved conductor trainees in two separate instances. CSX, safety regulators and others are looking into the circumstances surrounding those two accidents, which occurred within 60 days of each other.

“Enough is enough. A full-scale review of the use and practices around remote-control locomotives is long overdue. CSX — and every railroad — must evaluate their use of these supposed technological advancements to ensure they are actually making our members safer, and not merely replacing people to continue lining the pockets of Wall Street,” Maratea said.

CSX (NASDAQ: CSX) confirmed that the employee was fatally injured while working at the Wallbridge, Ohio, yard, but the company’s statement didn’t include the employee’s name nor the circumstances surrounding the fatality.

“CSX mourns the loss of this employee and our thoughts are with his family and loved ones. The safety of our railroaders is our highest priority. CSX is working with officials to determine exactly what happened,” the company said in a statement. 

The National Transportation Safety Board said in a Sunday tweet that it is investigating the accident. 

BRC representatives will also be involved in the investigation of the incident. BRC is affiliated with TCU/IAM.

“BRC members show up to work every day, work safely and expect to be able to return home to their families at the end of the day,” BRC General President Don Grissom said. “This tragic loss reminds us that we must continue the fight to ensure that worker safety is a top priority. Myself and the entire BRC offer our deepest condolences to the family of Brother Anderson.”

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