New report accuses Metro of neglecting safety protocols

New details from an independent audit is laying bare Metro's poor safety practices - from malfunctioning trains to poorly conducted inspections.

FOX 5’s Melanie Alnwick says there were positives and negatives in the report. The safety audit looked at maintenance and engineering practices for Metro’s passenger rail cars since last summer.

The report states one in five daily inspections are not fully following procedures. Mechanics are skipping steps, Alnwick said, and doing them out of order. She said steps checked off as being completed, but never carried out.

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Alnwick says there are inconsistent logs of hazards with railcars and personnel, and sometimes trains that failed tests on speed and automatic door functioning remained in service.

Alnwick added that protocols to protect Metro personnel from workplace injuries are not always followed, and that personnel is being trained on outdated procedures. 

in a statement to FOX 5, WMATA says:

"We are reviewing the WMSC’s report and will take appropriate action upon completion of our review."

The audit did commend Metro for some positive moves which have reduced risk, including the development of new digital tools to quickly detect when wheelsets need to be taken out of service and better communication of safety alerts. 

The agency has 30 days to review and propose corrective action plans for each finding.