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Metro contests safety violations

Metro has contested citations by the Maryland occupational health agency that found Metro made serious safety violations in connection to an accident that caused the deaths of two Metrorail workers in January.

An investigation by Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) found violations of existing Metro safety rules and recommended that Metro develop a reliable communications system with dedicated frequencies that is free of dead zones.

Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said Metro was cited for violating a "general duty clause," which MOSH said requires providing a safe and healthful workplace, as well as a record-keeping violation.

Metro contested the citations and requested a hearing in order to maintain its right of appeal, said Farbstein.

There have been other instances in which Metro employees have used channels other than official radios. Around the time a fast-moving train almost hit safety inspectors last December, inspectors also saw saw a track worker text-messaging the control center with a cellphone, and after broken-down escalators caused chaos at Dupont Circle, officers attempting crowd control said their radios had problems operating in the underground station.

--Ann Scott Tyson

By Luke Rosiak  | August 3, 2010; 1:44 PM ET
Categories:  Metro, Red Line  
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