RAC Awards
DEC 04, 2023

CN Recognized for Innovative Impacts on Workplace Safety and the Environment

Industry awards honour CN for real-time technology that keeps employees safer and a waterway structure that protects fish

A near-miss and hazard reporting system that keeps CN employees safer on the job and a complex structure that protects migrating fish have earned the Company two awards from the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) .

CN’s real-time reporting system, called Enablon Go, received a 2023 RAC Safety Award. A 2023 RAC Environment Award recognized CN for the construction of an important fish habitat restoration project in Quebec. RAC describes the awards as recognizing members for their outstanding contributions to rail safety and environmental impact.

Safety Award – CN’s Near-Miss and Hazard Reporting System

With the Enablon Go technology app at their fingertips, CN field employees can quickly report near misses or safety hazards while on-site, in real time. This means CN can act on them immediately, and make sure these potential issues don’t become injuries and accidents.

With Enablon Go, CN aims to improve employee safety by creating a safer working environment, enhance compliance with regulatory standards, and allow for more impactful safety solutions to be implemented using systemic data. The reporting system provides visibility across the CN network so solutions can be implemented system-wide and prevent accidents or injuries more broadly.

“A picture is worth a thousand words when it comes to documenting hazards, and the app allows just that,,” said Carolyn David, Senior Manager, Safety Systems at CN. “It’s making a positive impact for our teams, who are empowered to look out for each other by reporting near misses or potential hazards. It means we can take any prompt corrective actions to keep employees safer.”

Electronic device

Here’s how it works: The technology application captures GPS coordinates when employees report near misses or hazards into their mobile devices, and they can upload photo, video and audio files to provide additional information. Near misses can also be reported anonymously, if chosen. Once a near miss or hazard is reported in the app, CN managers of all Operations functions in the affected area are notified. Employees who reported a hazard also receive feedback on the status of the issue once it has been corrected.

At Walker Yard in Edmonton, AB, and surrounding terminals, locomotive engineers Dave Gillis and Matt Pfeiffer provided hands-on training to hundreds of employees, including discussing why, how and when to use the app. “We challenged everyone to try it and see the results for themselves,” said Dave, who also serves with Matt on the local CN Health & Safety Committee.

“They find it only takes two minutes of their day to report an issue, and then they have seen it be addressed. The results have made believers in the app, and they’ve really embraced it.”

Reported situations in and around Walker Yard that have been resolved include replacing missing signage, improving walking conditions, and upgrading lighting in yards. “They’ve seen it’s easy to use and gets results,” says Matt.

Anthony Macareo, a CN On-the-Job Trainer in Neenah, Wis., also educates local teams on how to use the safety tool and has seen the impact. Says Anthony: “It’s a wonderful app, and I let them know if they aren’t using it to report unsafe items, they are cheating themselves and the person next to them. It’s another good tool in their toolbelt to help keep us all safer.”

Environment Award – Lac Huit Milles (Quebec) Fish Passage

The Lac Huit Milles project in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region of Quebec involved the restoration of the fish passage and reconstruction of a dam. The work was done to restore the movement of brook trout, an important native species, between the lake and adjacent spawning grounds. The multi-year project presented an opportunity for CN teams to collaborate and innovate during the planning, permitting, design and construction phases.

“We played a leadership role in not just how we approached the project but in bringing about positive change that would benefit both the environment and the local economy,” says France Moreau, CN’s Environmental Impact Manager who led the project.

Today, stakeholders are extremely pleased by the outcome of the project, which addressed safety, access, biodiversity and environmental requirements. The initial monitoring results indicate successful migration and spawning. The return of brook trout is also expected to help improve the tourism industry in the area, which had been negatively impacted due to declining fish stocks.

Lac huit milles
CN received a 2023 RAC Environment Award for its work on restoring the Lac Huit Mille fish passage in Quebec.