The National Transportation Safety Board is calling for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to implement proper safeguards to protect workers on train tracks.
Among its recommendations, the safety board suggested that Metro implement pre-work briefings, conduct surprise inspections, and immediately install new technology that automatically warns track employees when trains are approaching and lets train operators know that there are workers in the area.
The safety board’s assessment follows two deadly train accidents that claimed the lives of three train track workers. In two separate incidents in 2006, three Metro employees died after being hit by Metrorail trains. During both accidents, the Operations Control Center only announced one time to train operators that workers were on the tracks.
One of the fatal accidents involved Jong Won Lee, a senior mechanic, who died after he was hit by a Red Line train in May 2006. In the other accident, on November 30, 2006, train operator Lynne Harris did not ask for permission to leave her last stop, failed to slow down, and may have been using her cell phone while operating the train. Track inspectors did not properly watch out for the train. Track workers Leslie Cherry and Matthew Brooks died from their injuries.
It wasn’t until after the November 2006 accident that Metro mandated that announcements be made every 20 minutes to informi train operators that workers were on the tracks.
Metro believes that implementing protection policies and making sure that they are followed will create a strong safety culture for train workers. Between 2001 and 2006, about 1.5 train worker fatalities have occurred involving Metro trains.
If someone you is a train employee who was injured while working on the train tracks, you should speak with a Maryland or Washington D.C. personal injury lawyer who is experienced in dealing with train accident injuries and is familiar with FELA, the Federal Employees Liability Act, which allows train workers to seek injury compensation.
Being struck by a train is often fatal. And the injuries that can be sustained if the injury victim survives can be catastrophic. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, neck and back injuries, massive internal injuries, and broken bones can result.
Safety Procedures Not Followed, NTSB Says, Washington Post, January 24, 2008
NTSB: Metro’s culture deadly, Examiner.com, January 24, 2008
Related Web Resources:
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
National Transportation Safety Board
In Washington D.C. and Maryland, contact the personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen today. Your first consultation is free.