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TTC worker fatally struck last year not aware of approaching work car: TTC report

A senior TTC worker fatally struck on the job last year was not aware of an approaching work car, an investigation by transit officials finds.

Peter Pavlovski, 49, was struck and killed by a southbound work car north of Yorkdale station at around 4:45 a.m. on Sept. 14, 2012.

The 22-year TTC veteran was the foreman supervising a crew of seven on an above-ground section of the northbound track of the Spadina line.

A second worker was also hit and suffered serious head injuries. The work car operator was hospitalized with a heart condition following the fatal incident.

Toronto police, the Ministry of Labour and the transit commission all launched investigations into the incident.

Following its investigation, the ministry did not lay charges, according to the TTC.

“The investigation of the fatality at Yorkdale points to weaknesses in the safety management system that must be addressed in order to ensure the safety of track maintenance work,” the TTC said.

In its own investigation, the TTC found that the two-person track crew — Pavlovski and a track mechanic — did not notify the Transit Control Centre that they were going to conduct a walking inspection of the southbound track, which is required in its safety protocols. As a result, the control centre did not alert the work car operator.

Neither worker was designated a watchperson, the TTC said, adding that it is not required under its protocols.

The TTC also said Pavlovski and the track mechanic did not know of the oncoming work car in time to move to safety and the work-car operator did not know there were workers at track-level.

The transit commission has crafted a plan of action in response.

A “Track Level – Serious Injury Prevention Team” will be created in November to review protocols between workers and the control centre.

The TTC also plans to implement a process for reporting, investigating and communicating safety-related incidents next year.

The transit commission refit its work-cars with brighter LED headlights and is also reviewing track-level warning technologies, including a study of permanent watchperson duties expected to be complete in February.

It will explore new warning device technology for workers on duty during non-service hours that will be considered for the 2015 budget.

Physical barriers or ergonomic issues related to work-cars will be examined and a thorough review of the Subway Rule Book will be conducted also, the TTC said.