WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - An audit of Metro's rail operations control center has uncovered a 'toxic workplace culture' in an environment containing 'racial and sexual comments, harassment, and other unprofessional behavior.'
The report from the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission published Tuesday says the 'control center's environment includes distractions, fear, threats and conflicting instructions that prevent overworked and undertrained controllers from fully and properly carrying out their duties.'
The WMSC says issues noted 'undermines morale and contributes to a high rate of staff turnover in the ROCC, critical staffing shortages that continue to adversely affect operations, and a lack of institutional knowledge that could help address safety challenges or emergency situations.'
The findings are based on employee interviews, discussions with Metrorail management, reviews of documents, and other audit work, the WMSC says.
The rail operations control center is responsible for overseeing train movement on mainline tracks, track access, power restoration, communications and emergency response. The report says it is integral to the safety of riders, workers and first responders.
WMATA issued a response to the audit on Tuesday afternoon. You can read the response in full below: