The teenage daughter of an experienced transit employee is grieving after her father fell in front of a train while doing repair work on the tracks. The incident serves as a powerful reminder that Arizonans who work on mass transit system face an unpredictable and often unsafe working environment in which serious work accidents can easily occur.
The man who died worked as a “flagger” and at the time of the accident was in the process of setting up a system of lights and other warnings to let those operating the subway know that they were approaching rail construction. He had a relatively inexperienced worker helping him that day.
More importantly, the man was also carrying with him a sizeable bag that held his equipment. While the man would typically not use the bag when doing subway work, he had recently hurt his shoulder and needed the bag to help him haul his usual load.
Authorities say that as the train passed, the man’s bag snagged on it. The force of the train pulling the bag yanked the man off the platform where he was standing and underneath the train. The man died at the scene of the work accident. The man’s teen daughter was unable to speak after the tragedy; she had lived with her father for six years after the man had been able to take her home from foster care.
Hopefully, the workers’ compensation system will be able to afford the daughter at least some financial security as she reaches adulthood. When someone loses their life because of an accident on the job, that worker’s children may be among those who suffer the most financially.
Source: New York Daily News, “Veteran transit worker killed by subway in Queens after he tripped and fell into path of oncoming train,” Pete Donohue, Erik Badia and Corky Siemaszko, April 26, 2013