The DC Metro transit agency has been trying to improve its safety record after a spate of deadly incidents involving workers in the past two years. Four track workers have been killed in three separate train incidents in the past 18 months and one contractor was electrocuted. Metro workers are slipping, straining their backs and then filing workers’ compensation claims for those and other injuries more than a national benchmark, according to the transit agency.
Metro’s approximately 11,000-person strong work force posted an average injury rate of 6.21 incidents per 100 employees in the first 10 months of the year, according to a Metro safety report. That’s slightly higher than the national benchmark according to a Washington Examiner report. Those statistics include all the workers in the DC, Maryland and Virginia system, including those who sit at desks in administrative positions. These statistics do not just cover the Metro employees who drive vehicles, lift equipment, fix escalators and elevators and run trains. These employees, in "front line positions," are usually more prone to getting hurt on the job. Throughout the system, strains were the most common claims filed among bus, rail and escalators workers. Slipping and falling, plus injuries from collisions involving bus operators were the next most frequent. It is hoped that the Metro’s safety department will be able to identify preventable risks of harm and educate the employees so as to reduce the numbers of injuries and fatal on the job accidents in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.