WBUR

Highway Engineer Placed On Leave After Lights Comments

BOSTON — One of the state’s top highway engineers has been placed on unpaid administrative leave following comments he made about being “trained” not to put safety concerns in writing.

Helmut Ernst has been under fire for comments reportedly made to the Boston Globe about corrosion affecting lights in Big Dig tunnels. He said engineers regularly don’t document problems because they fear retribution from lawsuits.

A 110-pound light fixture fell on a tunnel roadway in early February.

State Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Mullen says employees shouldn’t be afraid to report problems and says there’s a zero tolerance policy for failing to report safety concerns.

Mullen has hired an independent team to review Ernst’s conduct. He hopes to get that report back in 10 days.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on wbur.org.
  • xray

    Instead of assuming the engineer is guilty and putting him on unpaid leave, why not consider that the administrators who instructed him is guilty and put them on unpaid leave? Common sense would indicate that the latter is more likely to be the alleged conduct than the former.

  • Been there, and left

    Being an experienced scientist and project manager, I have been instructed by senior administrators “not to put things in writing”, especially if there were safety concerns, design flaws, poor technical performance etc., especially on highly visible and political projects.

    The engineer is not at fault; the politics of his organization is.  One need not look too deep to find more of the same.

  • gehehej

    gehehej
    gehehej@hotmail.com
    Chaussures NIke,Nike TN,Nike Requin,TN Requin,polo gucci pas cher ,Nike TN Requin Pas Cher,TN Requin Pas Cher,basket Nike TN,puma speed cat: http://www.chaussures-nike-tn-requin-pascher.com
    Chaussures NIke,Nike TN,Nike Requin,requin nike pas cher ,tn, air max,TN Requin,Nike TN Requin Pas Cher,TN Requin Pas Cher,basket Nike TN,puma speed cat: http://www.chaussures-nike-tn-requin-pascher.com
    Chaussures NIke,Nike TN,Nike Requin,TN Requin,Nike TN Requin Pas Cher,TN Requin Pas Cher,basket Nike TN,puma speed cat,puma future cat: http://www.chaussures-nike-tn-requin-pascher.com

  • gehehej

    gehehej
    gehehej@hotmail.com
    Chaussures NIke,Nike TN,Nike Requin,TN Requin,polo gucci pas cher ,Nike TN Requin Pas Cher,TN Requin Pas Cher,basket Nike TN,puma speed cat: http://www.chaussures-nike-tn-requin-pascher.com
    Chaussures NIke,Nike TN,Nike Requin,requin nike pas cher ,tn, air max,TN Requin,Nike TN Requin Pas Cher,TN Requin Pas Cher,basket Nike TN,puma speed cat: http://www.chaussures-nike-tn-requin-pascher.com
    Chaussures NIke,Nike TN,Nike Requin,TN Requin,Nike TN Requin Pas Cher,TN Requin Pas Cher,basket Nike TN,puma speed cat,puma future cat: http://www.chaussures-nike-tn-requin-pascher.com

  • P-brennan

    I know Helmut well, he’s been a friend for years. I know few people with his honesty and integrity – the MBTA and Massachusetts politicians would do well to promote him. He’s been willing to take on a job that most would not.

  • Guest

    A classic case of shooting the messenger.  He should be promoted, not suspended.

  • wingedone

    it’s MULLAN.

Most Popular