The MTA recently had two female employees pass away while giving birth. One a Bus Operator and the other one of the first female elevator mechanics.
Extremely rare and odd that this would happen two times 1 month apart and who knows if there are anymore that we aren’t aware of.
Could the nature of these jobs be a contributing factor?
Being a mechanic and bus driver are both very physically demanding jobs. Bus drivers sit in the same spot for hours at a time a day and breathing in diesel fumes is a serious health hazard, not only for the mother, but the baby as well. Study on pregnancy and diesel fumes.
Mechanics carry around heavy tools, squeezing in small spaces and or standing for hours a day is also a hazard and strain on the body for a expecting mom.
The MTA doesn’t believe in light duty work for its hardest working employees and as a result it forces expecting mother’s to work late into their third trimester of pregnancy, therefore putting themselves and babies at risk.
Women who are in their 7-8-9 month of pregnancy shouldn’t be allowed on the work floor especially in operating, cleaning and maintenance titles.
Expecting Train Operators and Conductors are also at risk. At any given time Train Operators have to descend to the road bed to investigate a “breaks in emergency” situation. This can be physically taxing for expecting mothers to climb up and down the train cars in their 2nd – 3rd trimester or even worse, evacuating a train during an emergency.
Conductors are also knocked around their train cab while the train is going across switches, which can be harmful to the fetus in the event their belly bumps into one of the many sharp objects in the train cab.
FMLA can be used before pregnancy, but theres a catch 22 to it. If the FMLA is used before the women gives birth, it takes away from the time after she gives birth to care for the baby and will ultimately affect her salary.
Expecting MTA employees dying while giving birth needs to be investigated to see if the working conditions the MTA provide can be a contributing factor in these deaths.