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On October 6, an early morning construction accident at Union Station killed a contract worker and left two Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) employees injured.
The crew was replacing a section of track at the station when a fire and blast unexpectedly erupted. The contractor was a 41-year-old from New Jersey. He later died at an area hospital. The two WMATA employees were treated for their serious injuries.
WMATA and the company that employed the contract worker both stated that they will conduct a full investigation of the accident. However, a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) spokesperson stated that due to furloughs in the government shutdown, the agency will not perform an investigation.
After a deadly Metro crash in 2009 that left nine people dead, the NTSB said WMATA lacked proper safety regulation. After another 2010 Metro accident that killed two workers, the NTSB said WMATA did not have adequate safeguards in place. With this most recent accident, it seems that their regulations are still inadequate.
With the NTSB sidelined due to the government shutdown, there is concern that no one is there to monitor Metro’s actions.
Metro’s history of work site accidents shows that they are not taking proper measures to ensure the safety of their workers. Employers have a duty to properly train and supervise employees to ensure safety regulations are being met, otherwise employers are responsible for injuries sustained in construction accidents.
If you are injured on the job, you should file a workers’ compensation claim. Contact a Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia injury attorney today at (202) 659-5500 so we can assist you in pursuing your claim.