Metro: ‘Safety stand-down’ complete; ‘relatively normal’ afternoon rush on tap

WASHINGTON — Metro said on Thursday that riders can expect “a relatively normal afternoon commute” after a “safety stand-down” that led to fewer available rail cars in the morning.

Metro temporarily suspended maintenance inspections of its 7000-series rail cars after a mechanic for Metro got shocked during an inspection Saturday at the West Falls Church rail yard.

The worker was taken to a hospital for evaluation in what was called a “light” shock, The Washington Post reports. A union raised concerns about the procedures for “inspecting ground brushes, which are part of the train’s undercarriage that return negative electrical current to the rails.”

Late Thursday morning, Metro said in a statement that it had completed a review of the union’s safety concern with their own engineers and engineers from the railcar manufacturer. They “found that the inspection procedures currently in place are appropriate and consistent with manufacturer guidelines.”

“Part of creating a safety culture means taking immediate action to address concerns raised by employees. If a concern cannot be immediately resolved or requires further investigation, sometimes additional steps—such as a safety stand-down—must be taken in an abundance of caution,” said Metro Chief Safety Officer Patrick Lavin in the statement. “We encourage the reporting of safety concerns, and thank our customers for their understanding as we place safety first.”

 

Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to WTOP.com in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

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