More Safety Failures at Metro Outlined

WASHINGTON — During a Metro Safety Committee meeting Thursday, Metro’s chief of safety outlined several more instances of safety failures that occurred because workers failed to follow established guidelines.

Earlier this week, a Metro train operator said he was taking off his jacket when his elbow accidentally hit a “Door Open” while on a Yellow Line train stopped outside the Reagan National Airport station. No one was hurt.

Additionally, Metro confirmed a worker fell down part of a ventilation shaft earlier this month, dropping about 30 feet to the floor below.

Chief Safety Officer Pat Lavin said Metro again failed to follow a series of safety protocols for warnings and training for workers. The man who fell is now in a rehabilitation facility.

A supervisor also failed to follow proper safety procedures before a worker was shocked by the third rail at the beginning of January, Lavin said.

Power should have been shut off before Metro did the Green Line work, but the worker and supervisor did not follow proper procedures, Lavin said.

Word of the safety failures comes as the transit agency wraps up its investigation into falsified track inspection records. Five of the 12 inspection supervisors were fired, along with 16 front line workers.

Metro plans within the next few months to conduct a new 10-week training course for track inspectors. Metro will hire 10 outside contractors to cover shifts while the remaining inspectors are retrained.

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