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Connecticut Metro-North employee struck by train

A 52-year-old Metro-North employee began his work day just like any other day. He had been working on the West Haven tracks of the under-construction train station all morning, when around noon, a New York City-bound train hit him. The last time a Metro-North employee was killed in a workplace accident was in 2009, when a signal maintainer was hit by a New Haven line train.

Trains usually go through the area at 50 mph to 65 mph, but officials said they were unsure of how quickly the train involved in the accident was traveling. A whistle is blown each time a train comes through the area, while trains also sound their horns. Workers receive safety training on a regular basis, as well.

The victim had been a track foreman with Metro-North for 27 years and had been working with, but not operating, a crane. An investigation of the accident will include interviews with other workers who were nearby, the train engineer, conductors and witnesses, along with a drug and alcohol test for the engineer.

According to the state Department of Transportation Construction, the opening of the West Haven train station is still slated for Aug. 1. The station has been under construction for more than two years in a project overseen by the DOT, with trains continuing to pass through the entire time.

Passengers did not know what happened when the train stopped, and were told service had been interrupted. They realized something was wrong after seeing construction crews hurrying to the site. Buses eventually took almost 300 train passengers to other stations.

Protecting workers against hazardous or dangerous working conditions is the responsibility of employers. If they ignore that responsibility, they can be liable for the resulting on-the job injury or work-related death. If a work-related death occurs, the surviving family can be compensated. This compensation may take into account the loss of financial support and other expenses caused by the fatal accident. In such cases, the assistance of an experienced legal professional is very important.

Source:  New Haven Register, "Metro-North worker hit by train, killed in West Haven" Susan Misur, May. 28, 2013

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