Recently, a serious accident that claimed the lives of two workers called into question the safety practices of Bay Area Rapid Transit. At the center of the controversy was a policy known as “simple approval,” which basically required workers to look out for trains on the tracks without any additional safeguards. This process was in place when the two aforementioned individuals were killed, leading to outrage about the policy as a whole.
Yesterday, the Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment hammered BART officials about the policy, which has actually been under protest for quite some time. A hearing was held in San Francisco, and members of the committee largely pressed BART on why they insisted upon appealing a decision from the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration that asked for a change in the policy as far back as 2008.
BART reportedly went so far as to file a lawsuit to allow the continued practice of simple approval, despite widespread protest by unions. At the hearing, employees outlined how their safety worries were not being taken seriously by the agency, while regulators called into question BART’s continued stubbornness in keeping the policy in place.
Union members were particularly displeased when a representative of BART said that, while simple approval was currently suspended in the wake of the incident, that suspension could lead to increased costs and service problems.
There’s far more to the story, so make sure to click the link up above to learn more about the hearing.