No matter what anybody tells you, we are not managing "safety" in this business. We're managing risk. Safety is the organizing principle. Risk is the threat inherent in what we do, what we provide, to that organizing principle .
We are always confronted with the issue of "what price safety?" Some times we call it "cost-benefit." Sometimes "cost-value." Sometimes "value-added." But it's all the same and we produce marvelous evaluations of level of risk, frequency of event, etc. etc. in determining what is the appropriate response to this question.
I've always had my own way of posing and resolving the questions, because, well let's just leave it at just because.
The question I always asked myself was: "Given what I know about this railroad, would I be comfortable allowing my daughters to ride trains here, twice a day, everyday, for the next 2 years?"
I was always able to answer that question "Yes." The railroad wasn't perfect, there was risk, and some risk which I was unable to mitigate to the degree that I wished, but I could always answer "Yes."
That's the only acceptable answer. That's the only answer with any value.
December 22, 2013
I even sound sweeter when I talk--