The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes’ (BMWED) President Freddie N. Simpson, with the full support of the BMWED National Division Officers, has approved a Brotherhood-wide research study to address the long-standing absence of high quality data reflecting the nature, frequency, severity and socio-economic consequences of occupational risk and its impact on BMWED members. This project is unprecedented in scope and has the full institutional support of BMWED’s leadership. BMWED members are a division of the Teamsters Rail Conference which also includes the membership of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET)
“This research is intended to remedy the current lack of comprehensive and accurate documentation of occupational risks encountered by hard-working BMWED members throughout their careers,” Simpson said. “BMWED’s multi-faceted effort to make the workplace safer requires a full understanding of past and present workplace conditions in order to reduce risk and create a safer and healthier work environment for current and future BMWED members.”
The project will be coordinated by the BMWED Department of Safety and conducted by a select team of highly credentialed academic and medical researchers. The research team will focus their studies on areas of concern identified by active and retired BMWED members, beginning with a forthcoming comprehensive membership survey.
The study is intended to assess occupational risk both quantitatively and qualitatively in order to identify and define problems, point to solutions, and help BMWED address risk reduction in a data-driven and comprehensive manner. The information gathered in this study will be used to enhance the health, safety, and welfare of current and future members by providing scientifically and economically validated data for use by BMWED in the legislative, regulatory, and labor/management arenas. Ultimately, this research will aid the Brotherhood in quantifying occupational risk so that identified risks can be mitigated through the Risk Reduction provisions of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.
Protecting the privacy and confidentiality of BMWED members participating in the survey is of paramount importance and will be built into the research protocols.
The BMWED encourages each and every member to participate in the upcoming survey and support this important occupational risk reduction research project. Additional information regarding member participation will be provided via mail, the BMWED Journal, and other appropriate means as we move this important research project forward.
“Membership input is absolutely critical to the success of this project, so please participate and encourage your Brothers and Sisters to fill out their forthcoming surveys,” Simpson said. “This is the chance of our lifetimes to improve safety and make a real difference in the lives of our current and future members. We need 100 percent membership participation to make that difference a reality.”