Metro: Reported smoke and fire incidents rising

WASHINGTON — In each of the first six months of the year, more Metro smoke and fire incidents have been reported compared to last year, according to data set to be presented Thursday to Metro’s Board of Directors.

The data are not final, but reflect more reports of smoke and fire even as Metro said its customer injury rate for rail riders has declined.

In the rail system, Metro found 1.31 injuries per million passenger trips in April, May and June. That is down 2 percent from the same period last year. Many of the injuries in the system are tied to slips, trips or falls. Other incidents include a handful of people who were caught in closing train doors.

The Metrobus injury rate for riders also is down slightly from the same period last year, but there has been a 77 percent increase in MetroAccess rider injuries after significant year-over-year increases in April and May.

For the paratransit service, Metro found the leading causes of injuries are vehicle crashes or falling while getting into vehicles.

For bus riders, Metro said the most common causes of injuries were crashes, followed by slips trips or falls.

Overall, the customer injury rate is 2.06 per million passenger trips, above Metro’s 2016 target of 1.75.

Employee injuries

More Metro employees were getting hurt on the job in the second three months of this year than the same period last year.

While the rate is lower than the national average for urban and transit systems, it is above Metro’s targets and 5 percent higher than last year.

A plurality of the injuries are in bus transportation, followed by rail and Metro Transit Police.

On the bus side, crashes where the employee is found not to be at fault are the leading cause of injuries, followed by crime-related injuries such as stress from verbal assaults or witnessing crime or physical assaults on drivers.

For rail workers, stress-related injuries and injuries caused by being struck by or stuck against something were the most common in the three-month period. Assaults on station managers ranked third.

Half of 16 injuries to Metro Transit Police officers were tied to pursuits or arrests.

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