One Worker Killed, Another Injured by Train on Broad Street Line

Two SEPTA workers were conducting a track inspection and doing light maintenance when one was killed and the other injured on the Broad Street Line Monday night.

A SEPTA worker was killed, and another injured, by an incident on the Broad Street Line Monday night. The man who was killed had worked for SEPTA for 17 years.

According to James Southworth, who is leading the investigation for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), both men were conducting a track inspection and doing light maintenance at the time of the incident. He said a northbound train hit the man who was killed, but it is unclear if there were trains running on the track the men were working on, or if he was hit by a train on an adjacent track.

Originally, a police report stated the man killed tripped and fell backward into the path of a train, but it has not been confirmed. Both men were wearing reflective vests and hard hats.

The investigation began Monday night. It will look into the equipment and vehicles in use, SEPTA’s rules and worker protections, and the dispatch and train control operations at the time of the incident.

Two incidents in recent years have drawn the NTSB to issue recommendations about safety procedures for subway lines. In November 2016, two New York City flagmen were killed by a subway train while they set up a light system to alert trains to the presence of a contractor. In October 2013, two track workers were killed in Walnut Creek, Calif., by a train.

The recommendations for the first incident were improved communication and slower speeds when there are flagmen on the tracks, and for the second, the NTSB told the Bay Area Rapid Transit system to install equipment to alert trains and dispatchers to the presence of workers on the tracks, and design a more comprehensive system of protection when workers are on the tracks.

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  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - May 2020

    May 2020

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