Railroad workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States since they work in an environment filled with various potential safety hazards. Each and every railroad worker is essential to the safe operation of the country’s rail infrastructure, and yet they are at a risk for accidents that may lead to injuries or even death.
What do Railroad Workers Do?
Railroad workers include conductors, signalmen, track laborers, engineers, inspectors, boilermakers, and more. All workers in railroad occupations work together and have their own roles to play, but overall, their priority is to ensure that passenger and freight trains run on time and travel safely. This includes checking the mechanical conditions of locomotives, maintaining trains between stations, documenting issues, and more. Those who work around the railroad do so in a hazardous environment with defective equipment, hazardous chemicals, and other conditions. Because of this, railroad workers face common injuries including:
- broken bones and fractures
- third-degree burns
- back, neck, and joint injuries
- traumatic head injuries
- disfigurement and loss of limb(s)
- internal bleeding
Even if these accidents don’t result in long-term effects, the short-term effects may impact the victim’s life, particularly if they are unable to work and earn a living while they recover. In addition to the physical injuries that are associated with railroad accidents, there may be long-term health issues, too. For example, being exposed to asbestos is known to cause mesothelioma and lung cancer. Also, exposure to hazardous chemicals like benzene can increase the chances of developing leukemia. In Indiana, railroad carriers can be held liable for these injuries and occupational diseases under FELA.
A Brief Overview of FELA
As a railroad worker, if you sustain a job injury or illness, you are covered by the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). FELA was enacted in 1908 due to a public outcry from the number of railroad workers suffering injuries. Railroads companies and employers’ duties are to
- inspect the work environment to ensure it’s free of hazards
- make sure equipment, tools, and devices are safe to use
- provide adequate training, supervision, and assistance
- enforce safety rules and regulations
Railroads are a dangerous place to work; FELA protection allows you the right to compensation from your railroad carrier for any injuries and illnesses suffered from the railroad’s negligence. This includes past and future wage loss, medical treatment, pain, suffering, and mental distress. In the unfortunate event that a workplace injury results in death, under FELA, the worker’s surviving spouse and dependent children are entitled to receive the compensation.
Your Railroad Worker Accident Lawyer
Foley & Small represents railroad workers who are injured while working on the job. Our team is dedicated to providing you with the justice you deserve. We receive no fee until you have been compensated for your injuries. Learn more about FELA to get you or a loved one justice.