NTSB To Investigate Norfolk Southern

NTSB To Investigate Norfolk Southern

NTSB To Investigate Norfolk Southern

After several deadly derailments over the course of the month, the NTSB has announced an official probe into the safety practices of Norfolk Southern.

Yesterday, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced it is opening a special investigation into the firm that has caused not one-not two-but three-recent incidents. Part of the statement read as follows:

The NTSB is concerned that several organizational factors may be involved in the accidents, including safety culture. The NTSB will conduct an in-depth investigation into the safety practices and culture of the company. At the same time, the company should not wait to improve safety and the NTSB urges it to do so immediately.”-NTSB


There was the derailment and chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio. Then, there was a second train derailment in Springfield, Ohio. Then, there was this:


This latest incident was the fifth incident involving Norfolk Southern since December. The firm has agreed to comply with the investigation.

I know what you’re thinking. Of course, they did. After they tried to offer East Palestine residents $1,000-checks.

I called together every member of our management team this afternoon to emphasize the urgency of finding new solutions. Tomorrow we will hold safety stand-down briefings reaching every employee across our network.

Moving forward, we are going to rebuild our safety culture from the ground up. We are going to invest more in safety. This is not who we are, it is not acceptable, and it will not continue.”-Norfolk Southern CEO, Alan Shaw

It will be certainly interesting to hear how this all plays out. Our very own Kim gave us a detailed account of what Norfolk Southern has been up to over the past couple of years. All about margins. Not too much concerned with safety was the gist of Norfolk Southern’s mode of operations. Yet Norfolk Southern officials state they are increasing their safety spend:

We’ve been increasing our safety spend. And I would imagine we will continue to increase our safety spend.”-Norfolk Southern’s chief financial officer, Mark R. George

I would imagine that Norfolk Southern will be spending more than their safety spend cleaning up the town of East Palestine, Ohio.

Rashes, general weakness, chemical bronchitis. Sounds just delightful. (Sarcasm.)

And while Norfolk Southern will be reporting safety practices to the NTSB, don’t fear. Norfolk Southern cares so much about the environment (chemical cough) annnnnnddd….they have also invested in their very own DEI initiatives.

At Norfolk Southern, we celebrate our individuality. Our employees are diverse not only in race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, and military status, but also education, experiences, skills, and perspectives. By leveraging the unique backgrounds and viewpoints of nearly 27,000 employees, we create a culture of innovation, respect, and inclusion. This strengthens our organization by attracting, retaining, and developing the best talent to improve safety, service, and business results.”-nscorp.com

Safety? Really, guys?

Because inclusion powers progress, they say. (Yes, they said it on their website.) Doesn’t matter if trains derail spilling toxic chemicals all over the place so long as someone’s voice is heard, right? How long did it take voices of East Palestine residents to be heard by Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg?

Oh, that’s right. It took Trump showing up. Buttigieg didn’t anticipate the “political implications” of holding off a visit. Think about that one. This guy is head of transportation. But transportation secretaries “don’t usually visit train derailments”, says ABC News. In other words, Buttigieg came begrudgingly. He and the crusty, old jackass in the White House who is his boss have bigger and better things to do, apparently.

Back to the NTSB probe-what are they expecting Norfolk Southern to document?

What did they do well? What did they do badly? What are they doing to address things that they botched? What are they doing since the incident occurred in order to make people feel cared for, cared about? When we walk out of there, I want to make sure that Norfolk Southern is doing what they need to do to make this right. Not just with respect to the folks in the community but also in terms of the movement of these hazardous substances all over our country, even as we speak.”-Committee Chairman Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del

Norfolk Southern has established a community support fund as an attempt to make things right with the residents of East Palestine, Ohio. Though the response from the firm, NTSB and government officials may be too little, too late. They may need to reconsider their DEI-BS budget over the next few years.

Photo Credit: Jim Bauer/Flickr/Cropped/CC BY-ND 2.0.

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  • GWB says:

    At Norfolk Southern, we celebrate our individuality.
    Well, there’s your problem. You should be celebrating how good you are at running choo-choos, not your individuality. Yes, there is an ‘i’ in ‘TEAM’ – it’s in the A-hole. (That’s better with the graphic in the meme.)

    Our employees are diverse … in … education, experiences, skills, and perspectives. (Emphasis added)
    That tells me you employ people who didn’t graduate from school and don’t have any experience or skill to do what you hired them to do, along with people who are qualified. Trust me when I tell you that is NOT a confidence builder for competency.

    Because inclusion powers progress, they say.
    And “they” are idiots. Inclusion just means you have a bunch of people standing around with their hands in their shorts watching the people who know what the hell they’re doing, and getting in the way.

    But transportation secretaries “don’t usually visit train derailments”
    They don’t usually have to. Because usually train derailments don’t involve a carpload of cars with toxic chemicals in them, which someone decides at least one of those has to be burned off – several cars worth of it – leaving a giant toxic mushroom cloud over the town where people live. So, maybe looking at how awful this was, a little political showmanship – showing up, getting FEMA involved, not poo-poohing the people’s concerns, etc. – was in order. But it wouldn’t get Buttigieg an endorsement from Vanity Fair, so he didn’t go.

    in order to make people feel cared for, cared about
    That’s not really Norfolk Southerns or NTSB’s job at the moment. I want them actually cared about and cared for. NS f*ed up big time and needs to make these people’s lives right. And the feds need to be there to make sure that happens.

  • Stephen C says:

    “We are going to rebuild the safety culture from the ground up”. Here is the problem. The CEO should have said, ‘… from the top down’.

  • Ming Omongo says:

    “In conclusion, said Transportation Secretionary Buttigieg, the investigators found it’s all Trump’s fault, and recommends banning him from public transport and grounding his private planes. So there!”

  • Nate Redshill says:

    The two latest derailments involve brand new coil cars which carry steel coils used for manufacturing processes. Difficulties with the design of the trucks and their wheels. Once it is figured out what’s happening with those coil cars there will be fewer derailments. NS used to be the safest railroad in the country winning the Harriman Award year after year; CSX was the outfit you were taking your life in your own hands if you got anywhere near their tracks!

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