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Station attendant issues to be examined during safety audits

Like operators and maintenance personnel, station agents have health, safety, and security concerns about the workplace where they spend most of their days. These issues will be examined as ATU enters Phase II of its Workstation Initiative with safety audits of ATU properties.

Every transit agency will have station problems that will be unique to them, but we know that some problems are widespread.


Air quality

Like operators and maintenance employees, station attendants worry about the possibility of getting cancer, asthma, or other breathing problems as a result of poor air quality in their work environment. 

Interaction with the public exposes station attendants to sickness and makes them vulnerable to assault by angry passengers and fare evaders.

Police are too often slow to respond to emergencies that happen on transit lines – particularly in subways.

Station attendants are required to sit or stand for hours at a time. Cushioned anti-fatigue mats and ergonomically designed chairs can help these workers avoid the musculoskeletal disorders that come from working in less than healthy circumstances.


Infestation

Too many transit stations are infested with roaches, mice and other pests that foul the environment station attendants work in. No one should be forced to sit or stand for hours in such an unhealthy workplace.   

Like operators, station attendants endure poor ventilation, and broken air conditioning and heating systems at their workstations.

Station attendants often have to work with dangerous electrical wiring, lights, and technology that hasn’t been updated for decades.


Suicides

Like operators, station attendants may have to deal with suicides who place a great physical and psychological burden on all of the employees working at the time of an incident.  Training on how to identify and help suicidal persons, and how to cope with the trauma related to these tragedies would help many workers recover sooner from the experience.

These and other problems unique to station personnel will be assessed during the ATU safety audits, beginning in January.