Metro News Release

For immediate release: January 11, 2010

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Metro hosting three-day Right-of-Way Safety Workshop
Workshop designed to enhance safety procedures for Metrorail maintenance employees

In its continuing efforts to enhance its safety procedures for its employees, Metro today kicked off a three-day Right-of-Way Safety Workshop. The right-of-way is the area where the track bed and the tracks are located.

The three-day workshop is designed to provide a comprehensive review of Metro’s current right-of-way procedures, and to strengthen and enhance its safety measures by partnering with transit experts from around the country.

“During the three day session, this group will be working on what needs to happen to make our right-of-way a safer place for our employees,” said Metro General Manager John Catoe.

This week’s safety workshop will focus on:

• Metro’s safety action plan;
• The Tri-State Oversight Committee’s Safety audit of Metro’s roadway worker protection program;
• Key elements of Metro’s roadway worker protection program;
• Rules, procedures and special orders designed to put safety mechanisms in place;
• Discussion of Metro’s safety culture;
• Tools, systems and technologies for worker protection such as job safety briefing checklists, worker tracking systems, advanced warning systems for “blind curves” and no clearance locations, proper flagging, and employee training materials;
• Responsibilities of employees who work on the tracks;
• Enforcement of the safety procedures;
• Record keeping;
• Reporting and supervision;
• Training improvement;
• The establishment of reporting measures; and
• Sharing of industry best practices. 

As part of the safety workshop, Metro invited safety experts from the Tri-State Oversight Committee, the Federal Transit Administration, and transit agencies in Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York and Baltimore. Also participating are Metro safety officials, rail officials and the Union representing Metro’s operating workforce.

“Last year we had two employees die as a result of accidents on the tracks and last month we had a train miss a safety inspector because the train operator violated safety procedures,” said Michael Taborn, Metro’s Acting Chief Safety Officer. “It is imperative that we strengthen our safety procedures for the thousands of Metro employees who have access to our tracks. Their lives are on the line each and every day. We all have a shared responsibility in making sure they complete their jobs in a safe manner and return to their work location, and to their homes and families at the end of their shift.”

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Media contact for this news release: Steven Taubenkibel or Lisa Farbstein at 202-962-1051.
For all other inquiries, please call customer service at 202-637-7000.

News release issued at 2:54 pm, January 11, 2010.


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