The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 5 (September 24, 1926)
It is dangerous to stand too close to a machine that is running. It is both dangerous and foolish to lean against such a machine. Stand a safe distance from any mechanism that is in motion, or is likely to be set in motion.
When working on a locomotive do not drop your hammer or your spanner. Serious injuries to employees working near or passing by have resulted from such carelessness.
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Can the Department depend upon you to carry out your daily duties with the fixed determination to avoid practices which might involve accident to those with whom you work?
Can your workmates depend upon you not to take risks likely to occasion accident to them?
Can your family depend upon you to be constantly vigilant in the prevention of accident to yourself, and to see that the carelessness of others does not injure you?
Can you depend upon yourself to foresee possibilities of danger in operations large and small, and avoid all danger?
If you can answer these question with an emphatic Yes, then you are doing your part towards the prevention of accidents and setting an example in Safety First.
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Safety In Railway Workshops.
The reputation of the United States railways in the conservation of life, and in the reduction of accidents to employees has been enhanced by the safety record established by the El Paso shops of the Texas and Louisiana lines of the Southern Pacific. The shops employ an average of 650 men and are equipped for general and for heavy locomotive repairs. For a period of over 27 months, only two employees were injured in these works, which is a remarkable safety record when we consider that an aggregate of 2,734,701 man hours were worked. The much prized “Safety Banner” which was held by the Algiers shops of this railway system for three successive years passes over to the proud employees of the El Paso shops.
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Historic Safety Advance.
George Stephenson, the pioneer locomotive builder (says D.T. and I. Railroad News), was the first to suggest the steam whistle as a means for preventing accidents. This was as far back as 1833. Charles Minot of the Erie Railroad issued in 1851 the first telegraphic train order. In 1863 the development of the manual controlled block system was started by which spacing was accomplished by telegraphic signals, between contiguous stations and entirely independent of any other method of protection. The earliest form of block signalling, as practised in Britain, long before the telegraph was invented, consisted of erecting a high mast at each station, on which a huge ball could be raised and lowered. When a train left the station the ball was raised. In this way trains were authorised to proceed. The controlled manual system, known as the Staff, Tablet and Lock and Block, was first used in Britain in 1874 and in America, on the New York Central, in 1882. In 1868 the Westinghouse air brake was successfully applied and by 1870 was being adopted generally for use. The first automatic signal using electric track circuits and dise type signals was patented in 1870 by Dr. William Robinson, an American. In 1883 standard time was adopted on all railroads in America. Prior to this fully 48 standards of time were recognised. In 1885 the first tests of the automatic coupler were conducted under the auspices of the Master Car Builders' Association. In 1893 the Federal Safety Laws were passed requiring power brakes, automatic couplers, side and end hand holds, “for greater security to men in coupling and uncoupling cars.” In 1903 the first all steel passengercars were constructed.