How Metrolinx works to create safer workplaces and communities

Spotlighting health and safety during North American Occupational Safety and Health Week.

May 6, 2024

This week marks North American Occupational Safety and Health Week (NAOSH), which highlights the importance of workplace health and safety, as well as Safety and Health Week 2024, focused on injury and illness prevention in workplaces, homes and in communities.   At Metrolinx, we put safety first – at work, on board and in the community.  

We have been recognized as Canada’s Safest Public Transportation Employer, and are continually looking for opportunities to enhance safety and security for our customers and employees.  

“Our belief is safety is everyone’s responsibility. At Metrolinx, our top priority is to ensure that everyone goes home safe,” said Martin Gallagher, Chief Safety Officer at Metrolinx.   

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Passengers waiting for the UP Express train. (Metrolinx photo)

Safer transit for our customers, and communities 

Improving safety across the transit network and on our construction sites is a key priority for Metrolinx.  

We are currently working to enhance pedestrian safety at 16 grade crossings across our rail network. 

These infrastructure improvements – including the addition of pedestrian gates with skirts, painted markings, tactile warning plates and safe waiting areas called refuge areas – are taking place in phases and are tracking to be completed in late 2024.  

Our Community Engagement teams hold pop-ups, attend festivals, and even speak directly to students in local schools across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas about the topic of rail safety throughout the year.  

Additionally, Metrolinx works with local safety and law enforcement agencies year-round to help spread awareness of safe behaviour around tracks, in stations and near construction zones. That includes reminding drivers to slow down and obey all traffic signals around construction sites, and pedestrians to never approach or try to touch vehicles in testing.  

Our GO Station Ambassadors help customers stay safe on train platforms by assisting with boarding and exiting trains, and providing information to those who need it.  

Customers on GO Transit and UP Express can access the text-for-help support program, launched last year, which lets individuals report safety or security concerns by texting “HELP” to 77777.  

Our Customer Protective Services team will quickly respond to the text to understand the concern and dispatch support or local police services if needed. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in over 100 languages.  

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A section of rail awaiting track installation. (Metrolinx photo)

A commitment to safe workplaces 

Metrolinx is always looking for ways to reduce risk and improve working conditions for workers. 

“In order to continue to evolve our safety culture we need to walk together, look out for one another, and speak up for safety,” said Farah Kassam, Vice President, Safety at Metrolinx. 

Through our Personal Track Safety Program, transit staff are taught the fundamentals of rail safety, track protection, and working in a commuter railway environment. Metrolinx contractors and business partners can also access this training.  

Rail Construction Safety Training is mandatory for project owners, constructors, general contractors, maintenance contractors, consultants and workers involved in the planning, design, coordination, or management of construction activities. 

Meet Josh, a construction safety officer at Metrolinx.

by Truc Nguyen Senior Editorial Content Producer