We issued this management advisory report to bring immediate attention to risks we identified during a visit to an Amtrak facility for a separate audit. During the visit, most of the 26 employees interviewed told us, often unsolicited, about significant safety and security risks they regularly face. Specifically, the employees raised concerns about trespassers and their impact on employees’ safety and the security of company assets, such as locomotives, track switches, and inventory stored outside the facility’s warehouse. According to the employees interviewed, trespassers have assaulted and threatened multiple employees on the property, including one incident in which a trespasser threw a hammer at an employee. It is also a general practice for Mechanical foreman to confront trespassers, who employees said are sometimes violent and dangerous. One such incident occurred during our visit when a trespasser with a weapon gained access to a rail car and defecated inside it. Additionally, employees told us—and company records supported—that trespassers break into rail cars and locomotives, access the rail lines, and steal company property. We identified three key vulnerabilities that created these risks. The company agreed with our observations and is taking corrective action. Until the company implements longer-term plans, however, the risks related to employee safety and that of company assets will remain imminent unless interim solutions are put in place.
Tuesday, May 9, 2023
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