Metrolinx’s Safety Commitment – Second to NoneMarch 20, 2018
Traditionally, when thinking of safety at Metrolinx, one may think of our Transit Safety Officers patrolling our trains and stations, but it’s much more than that – safety is entrenched in all we do. Safety is our number one priority and we know there’s always room for improvement. We’re committed to enhancing our safety culture because once you have safety figured out, everything else in the organization will fall into place.
We are reminded of the importance of safety every day when the train comes rolling in at any of our stations. 130 tonnes of moving steel is enough to give you pause and make you think twice about staying safe.
Metrolinx understands that safety begins with our people. We recently launched our Safety Charter that outlines three simple promises each employee makes to foster a stronger safety culture. These promises are in play 24/7/365 and not just when an employee is at work. We have also formed an Executive Safety Security Health and Environment Committee, led by the CEO and other top leaders in the company which ensures safety performance throughout the company.
Almost everyone is familiar with ‘black boxes’ or flight recorders on airplanes, but few are aware of emerging technology on the ground and it’s not just about data or audio recordings. Metrolinx recently became the first railway in Canada to install cameras in locomotives and cab cars. If there is a safety incident, recorded footage can provide a better understanding of what happened so improvements can be made to prevent similar incidents from occurring again. We are also working with regulators to explore global industry standards and import key control advancements on the railway.
Make your way along Eglinton Avenue and you can’t miss the work taking place on the Crosstown LRT project. As capital projects increase, to ensure a safe environment for the community, we continue to communicate road impacts, organize wayfinding events for pedestrians, and organize site walks with community partners. We have also implemented a Level Crossing and Safety Framework to ensure that all level crossings are safe for customers, drivers and communities.
Although these safety initiatives are important to the day to day operations of our transit, safety is also about compassion and understanding. Mental health issues unfortunately plays out on railways around the world, but we have taken steps to connect people with the support they need. Metrolinx has partnered with ConnexOntario to install signs with information about mental health support services throughout our network. Additionally, we are taking strong steps to protect the psychological safety of our employees who sometimes respond to deaths and other significant events on our system.
As a leading commuter rail organization, it’s paramount that safety is embedded throughout our entire system, from the design stage to the implementation stage. We are committed to our new safety culture and will be continuously improving it as we connect our communities.
Metrolinx has partnered with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce for a series of three guest blogs.