Never Let Rules Defy Common Sense


Good news: It was a normal day in Sharon Springs , KS, when a Union Pacific crew boarded a loaded coal train for the long trek to Salina .

The Bad news: Just a few miles into the trip a wheel bearing became overheated and melted, letting a metal support drop down and grind on the rail, creating white hot molten metal droppings spewing down to the rail..

The Good news: A very alert crew noticed smoke about halfway back in the train and immediately stopped the train in compliance with the rules.

The Bad news: The train stopped with the hot wheel over a wooden bridge with creosote ties and trusses.

The crew tried to explain to higher-ups but were instructed not to move the train!

They were instructed “The Rules” prohibit moving the train when a part is defective!

Bridge Fire 1

Bridge Fire 3
Bridge Fire 4

1. Take a look inside your business. Are you so structured and procedural that your employees never have the chance to innovate and run with a great idea?

2. If you can’t trust your employees to use their best discretion when a challenge arrives maybe you need to refine your hiring practices.

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