Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Subway Death

Death came to the workplace again on Monday morning at about 4:30 a.m. when a subway car driven by a TTC employee, came into contact with maintenance platforms. The platforms crashed into the operator’s compartment of the car killing the operator and injuring two other members of the 11 member maintenance crew.

All the crew members there are likely to experience the type of stress discussed in yesterday’s post. Indeed, Canoe reports: "One member of the TTC crew openly wept as he tried to explain to a transit safety officer what occurred in the tight confines of the tunnel." The sudden irrevocable power of death seems always to affect those who bear witness to it. In that, of course, is the stress that comes. The single largest factor in stress is lack of control. And clearly when it comes to death, all control is immediately and irrevocably removed. Thinking about the workers in that tunnel, one imagines that the work to have an overriding element of stress just in the fact that the work is in a confined space in the dark. Open, fresh air and access to rescue help are absent. Going back into that space is likely to be difficult for all the surviving workers.

As I discussed yesterday all the employees exposed to the traumatic event will be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits where they suffer symptoms of acute stress.

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