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Employee Involvement

Employee Involvement

Employee involvement is a fundamental part of CN’s Safety Management System and is strengthened through a number of initiatives.

For example:

Safety Summits

Local management led 63 summits in 2016. These sessions are an opportunity to engage employees in strengthening safety and culture. Summits promote effective two-way communications and the sharing of best safety practices. Of particular importance is the opportunity to listen to employees about their ideas, opportunities and challenges that can be addressed jointly. Safety Summits will continue in 2017 to reinforce CN’s positive safety culture.

Health and Safety Committees

CN has 103 joint union-management committees across the system which are empowered to improve local culture and engage the entire workforce in safety initiatives. In 2016:

  • CN continued to deliver systematic support to the committees by teaching risk assessments and providing assistance in developing annual action plans to address top causes of accidents and injuries.
  • CN’s Health and Safety Committee's Intranet page contains the minutes of each committee meeting, all safety action plans, templates for various surveys, and more. Regions / functions continue to make good use of the site as a resource to address workplace accidents and injuries. 

Fatigue Management Initiative

Fatigue Management plays a critical role in creating a safe operating environment in the rail industry. Over the last decade a tremendous amount of scientific research on fatigue management has been completed. That research reliably links sleep-related fatigue to human performance and long-term health. The research has also identified effective fatigue management solutions to help people better manage the quality of their home and work lives. CN is committed to incorporating the most current fatigue science into all of our risk management endeavours.

CN is currently working with the TCRC to develop best practises in fatigue risk management. One of the initiatives that has been implemented in Western Canada is the creation of scheduling windows for conductors, providing more advance knowledge of when they will be called for duty which enables employees to better plan their lives and sleep. The effectiveness of the scheduling initiative is being validated by employee volunteers who wear a “readiband” device that tracks sleep and awake patterns in relation to the employees work schedule. The data is then validated by an independent fatigue management specialist who is able to assess improvements in employee performance and fatigue reduction as a direct result of this initiative.

The scheduling initiative is complemented by improved employee communication, training, and education, including effective individual countermeasures to combat fatigue. It is essential for employees at all levels of the company to understand and commit to considering fatigue when their decisions or actions could affect the safety of other employees.

Additionally, CN’s fatigue management program includes family education so that employees’ are supported by their families, or other outside support networks, to effectively mitigate fatigue.