Ting Praises New NTSB Safety Recommendations for BART Worker Safety

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Assemblymembers Hernández (left) and Ting (right) receive testimony at the hearing in San Francisco. PHOTO CREDIT: Assemblymember Ting's office.
San Francisco, CA – Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) praised today’s National Transportation Safety Board recommendation, released as part of its ongoing investigation into the deaths of two Bay Area Rapid Transit workers, that all rail transit agencies should be required to eliminate work authorizations where safety considerations are the sole responsibility of the worker.

“The tragic loss of these workers is a teachable moment,” said Ting.  “We have the chance to improve transit safety by changing how transit operates across the country.  The Board’s proposal will save lives by ending practices that leave rail workers to fend for their own safety.  That is not right and has to stop.”

Last month, at Ting’s request, the Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment questioned BART managers, workers, and state regulators in a San Francisco hearing to address what he called “a disturbing pattern” of workplace safety issues at BART.  The hearing evaluated a decades-old BART procedure called "simple approval," which allows workers to enter tracks without any protection from trains or any advance warning of approaching trains.  BART recently suspended this procedure after the deaths of two workers in October.  If adopted by the Federal Transit Authority, today’s NTSB proposal would prohibit simple approval.

“We have laws to ensure that workers are safe on the job,” added Ting.  “Today’s proposal strengthens the notion that workplace safety is a shared responsibility.”

Further information about today’s NTSB recommendations is available online at http://www.ntsb.gov/news/2013/131219.html.