An employee with the Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority died on the job just over a week ago.
The 45-year-old maintenance worker died late one afternoon after fatally striking his head on support beam. A slow moving rail car was being brought into the Metro’s Rail Operations Center for repairs. He was inside the rail car and stuck his head out of the car’s door, hitting a beam. Even though the car was only moving five miles per hour, the impact of the hit fatally wounded the worker.
It was unknown why he stuck his head out of the rail car, but Metro officials suspected that he was trying to check something.
Metro is a branch of the Federal Transit Administration is overseen by the Texas Department of Transportation. Workplace accidents that occur at federal agencies do not need to be investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); the fatal workplace accident remains under investigation by Houston police and Metro’s Safety Department.
This is the second Metro employee to die while on the job this year. The first employee died after he lost control of an empty transit bus that he was returning to the garage. Deaths among metro transit employees are unusual according to Metro officials. In fact, there have only been three on-the-job fatalities in the last 20 years.
Source: Houston Chronicle, “Metro death second on-the-job this year,” 10/12/11.