Injuries to railroad workers occur more often than many people might realize. In fact, working for a railroad is one of the most hazardous jobs there is. Not only is there the increased likelihood of sustaining a permanently disabling injury while working a railroad job, but there is the increased risk of sustaining a fatal injury while working for a railway. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS,) some of the most dangerous railroad jobs are brake, signal and switch operators (read full BLS report on railroad injuries here). A fatal injury among railroad workers is 50 % more likely to occur than jobs in any other industry, states the BLS.
Railroad Injuries Hotspots
Although injuries are likely to occur while working at any railroad, they happen more frequently in Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming. One reason for the increased rate of fatal railroad-related accidents in these particular states is because of their small size in comparison to the amount of freight deliveries and operations. Some other states that see higher numbers of fatal or near-fatal injuries to their railroad workers are California, Boston, Washington, and New Jersey, with Illinois and New York top on the list.
Despite the high instances of railway fatalities, not all workers are fatally injured. However, when a railroad worker is hurt, the injury is almost always permanent and life-long, preventing a person from being able to work again in the future. Workers have lost limbs, developed cancer as a result of ongoing asbestos exposure, lost their hearing or developed severe tinnitus, as a result of working with vibrating tools and equipment on a regular basis, and much more.
Just some of the injuries that can occur as a result of working for a railroad are:
- Collisions while driving railway vehicles.
- Electrocutions while operating electrical equipment.
- Falls from, on, or in railroad vehicles.
- Being struck by railway vehicles.
- Drownings (often as a result of falling into nearby bodies of water.)
Many serious injuries and fatalities can be avoided if the employer provides the proper safety equipment and environment. For instance, many railway workers have suffered from hand and finger amputations as a result of wearing improper gloves while working with sharp machinery and equipment. However, had their employers provided them with special safety gloves that prevent the penetration of sharp objects, these workers’ limbs could have been saved.
It is also an employer’s responsibility to ensure that slippery conditions be adequately taken care of. Slips that have resulted in fatalities and caused near-fatal injuries have occurred as a result of improper snow and ice removal. There are other ways in which accidents that cause harm to workers can be prevented when working in railways, as well. If more railway employers are more meticulous about enforcing and implementing safety plans, then less workers would become seriously harmed as a result of their work environments.
What To Do If Injured
If you are a railroad worker and you have been a victim of a serious, near-fatal accident, then you should be aware that you are entitled to proper compensation. Railroad workers are eligible for compensation through a special railroad worker’s benefits plan under Federal Employee’s Liability Act (FELA). It oftentimes takes the assistance of an experienced attorney to assist railroad workers with receiving the full compensation that they deserve. Proving that your employer is liable for your injuries is necessary before you can receive any entitlement, and the right attorney can gather the necessary evidence to prove that your employer was in fact at fault for your injury. There is no need to suffer physically, emotionally and financially as a result of a railway injury. You should not hesitate to contact an attorney with insight into these types of injuries, so you can receive the medical care and financial compensation that you deserve. Visit our page here for more information on our work with railroad worker injuries.