2 Metro work­ers face dis­ci­plinary ac­tion

The Washington Post Sunday - - COMMUTER -

Metro of­fi­cials will seek dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against two em­ploy­ees who took an unau­tho­rized con­trac­tor onto Yellow Line tracks near the Eisen­hower Av­enue sta­tion last week and failed to fol­low safety pro­to­col, caus­ing a near miss in­ci­dent when an on­com­ing train bar­reled in their di­rec­tion.

“There were pro­ce­dures that were not fol­lowed, and that’s what we’re ad­dress­ing,” Pa­trick Lavin, Metro’s chief safety of­fi­cer, said Thurs­day at a board safety com­mit­tee meet­ing.

The in­ci­dent came less than a month af­ter the Fed­eral Tran­sit Ad­min­is­tra­tion de­manded an­swers from Metro on how it in­tended to im­prove pro­tec­tions for track work­ers at risk of be­ing hit by pass­ing trains.

Be­cause of the May 18 near miss — along with an­other in­ci­dent Wed­nes­day in which a train op­er­a­tor broke the speed limit in a work zone by 15 mph — fed­eral of­fi­cials re­main con­cerned that sig­nif­i­cant risks re­main on Metro’s tracks.

Carol Carmody, chair of the Metro board safety com­mit­tee, said she spoke with FTA of­fi­cials Wed­nes­day about the two in­ci­dents. She said of­fi­cials had been sat­is­fied with Metro’s writ­ten re­sponse on how they planned to ad­dress road­way worker pro­tec­tion — un­til last week’s in­ci­dent. But, she added, “how do you ac­count for this con­tin­u­ing prob­lem? It’s a dilemma for all of us.”

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