Tuesday, January 19, 2016

GO pushes Union Station platform safety plan in response to commuter death last Spring

Metrolinx is considering installing platform edge barriers and designated passenger loading zones at Union Station after a GO commuter walking along a narrow section of platform there was killed last spring.

The measures are among 16 safety and crowd-control measures recommended in the Union Station Platform Action Plan, posted on the Metrolinx website Monday.

It was written in response to the death of RBC employee Daniel Panacci, 31, who was dragged beneath a departing rush-hour train near a narrow passage beside an elevator on platform 11 of Canada’s busiest transit hub.


Introduce “no standing zones” in areas where there is less than 50 inches of space between the platform edge and nearby structures, such as stairwells and elevators, and ensure these areas are identified with standard signage.
Signage has been installed to indicate no standing zones.
Additional “no standing zone” messaging will be been painted on the platform
Subject to specific exceptions, prohibit storage of any kind on platforms.
Construction materials and tools that are not in use and not required for employee safety are to be removed from platforms.
Note: To balance safety concerns, certain exceptions will apply. For example salt storage will be reintroduced at either end of the platforms away from passenger circulation during winter months.
Audits will be scheduled to ensure this standard is being maintained.
These will generally coincide with the completion of construction phases and when seasonal equipment is introduced (or no longer required).
During fair weather, prop open doors to stairwells to enable better passenger flows to and from the concourse and teamways.
This practice will be upheld and reintroduced each spring.
Maintain a standard, 24-inch wide yellow safety strip on all Union Station platform edges at all times, including periods of renovation and construction.
The yellow safety strip should:
  • be the same design across all platforms;
  • be highly visible;
  • be permanent; and
  • provide a tactile warning to pedestrians.
 If a permanent safety strip that meets these criteria cannot be maintained due to construction or other factors, a painted yellow safety strip will be applied in the interim.
As construction continues at Union Station, yellow strips will be refreshed as needed to meet the standard of 24 inches. Permanent tactile surfaces will be installed when construction in a given area is complete.
Modify design practices to:
  • exclude the yellow safety strip when calculating usable platform space; and
  • consider specific points of congestion (e.g., no standing zones) when determining the extent of platform crowding.
This practice has been put in place. The Metrolinx Design Requirements Manual will be updated and amended as soon as possible.
Trim certain sections of select platforms within the Union Station train shed where steps overhang into the yellow safety strip area to eliminate potential tripping hazards for individuals who are not obeying the no standing or walking rules for those areas.
Since platforms 24-27 have an embedded ice melting system, trimming work on those platforms will require further study.
All yellow safety strips were refreshed throughout construction.


matt said...

Nobody on platform 13 can read, evidently, or they assume that the "no standing zone" restriction is meant for someone else...

Tal Hartsfeld said...

I'm always all for smart designs and fool-proofing measures.
People can be careless when they're in a hurry or just distracted by things in their own life.

TomW said...

The platforms simply don't have enough space. A GO Train holds 2,000 people, most of whom will be waiting on the platform when it arrives.