Editorial Archive

Talking safety on the night shift

Night crews 11/5/20 6:00 PM

At the TTC, the safety of our employees has always been – and will continue to be – our top priority. We all have a personal and shared responsibility to prevent workplace injury and illness.

Recently, the Safety Executive Committee and myself conducted a field visit to hear from various crews on the night shift. The purpose of the site tour was to engage subway workers in conversation about their opinions on improving the TTC safety culture.

Fort Monaco, Chief Infrastructure and Engineering Officer, and his team organized four different sessions across Subway Infrastructure. Abiding by all COVID-19 protocols, five unionized workers and five staff employees from participating work groups met for two hours in office settings across the TTC. Following the meetings was a trackside field visit to witness some of the night work taking place.

The Safety Executive spoke to crews from subway track, electrical, signals and structures. The Executive got to hear candid and personal opinions from workers – this is an essential element of a robust workplace safety culture.

We came away with many observations, recommendations and suggestions for improving: training, communications, rules and regulations, cleanliness, protection from COVID-19 and overall workplace safety in a variety of areas, such as air quality, PPE, work zones and work cars. The field trip helped to clarify some of the safety challenges employees face and what can be done to reduce exposure in the workplace.

Each item was documented and tracked, along with some preliminary ideas on strategies to begin planning for improvements. We’ve committed to reporting back to crews on the status of action plans in about six months.

Next week, I’ll be meeting with Acting Chief Safety Officer Betty Hasserjian and her staff to discuss the department’s new safety action plan, which will include more employee engagements and site visits similar to the one held with Subway Infrastructure.

Safety-Before-Production is not just a motto, but a core value at the TTC. It expresses our ultimate goal for an injury-free workplace, and for ensuring that every employee returns home in the same condition they arrived for their work shift – morning, noon or night.

I’d like to thank the Joint Health and Safety Committees for Track and Structure as well as Signals/Electrical/Communications for their participation. And I’d like to thank you for your ongoing commitment to safety at the TTC.

Please stay safe and well.

Richard J. Leary
Chief Executive Officer
November 5, 2020

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