Internal Report Reveals Action Before Death

Almost 2 months ago, the MTA NYC Transit family lost track supervisor James Knell after he came into contact with the electrified third rail at the Beach 90th Street A S Station in Queens. Two days after his death, a report in the New York Daily News revealed his death could have been avoided had official safety regulations been followed.

Fast forward to the present where an internal report reveals that Mr. Knell was moving a container of spikes weighing at least 90 pounds when he fell. Pete Donohue of the New York Daily News has more:

James Knell was moving a bulky container with at least 90 pounds of spikes when he fell to the third rail, an internal NYC Transit report reveals.

The clunky design of the container, and the formidable weight of the load, are among a series of 11 safety concerns raised in the preliminary report on the track workers’ tragic death on April 26.

“These are all issues that could very well be presented to a jury as to liability or fault for the wrongful death” of Knell, said lawyer Sanford Rubenstein, who is representing Knell’s widow, Jackie.

The Office of System Safety Report doesn’t place blame or fault. It does identify actions the agency should take to make work sites safe – including providing workers with spike containers with handles so they can be moved more easily and safely and limiting the weight to 51 pounds.

The spike buckets currently can hold as many as 115 spikes and weigh 120 pounds, according to the report, which says: “The shape and size of the spike bucket … makes it difficult to be picked up and carried by two people working together.”

Click here for the complete report,

I am going to try & get a copy of this report as I would like to read all of the safety improvements outlined. There is something seriously wrong with protocol when one man is carrying odd shaped containers weighing almost 100 pounds in an already dangerous work area. Mr. Knell’s death clearly should have never happened & it is a shame it always takes someone paying the ultimate price for common sense changes to take place.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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