What Are the Most Common Dangers Faced by Railway Workers?

With the growing prevalence of online shopping and two-day shipping, it is not hard to overlook how important railroads are to keeping the United States running smoothly. Without railways and the workers who maintain and operate them, our country’s economy would bottom out, as gigantic industries such as manufacturing and agriculture would not get their shipments. 

What are some of the daily hazards railroad workers encounter?

Despite their importance, railroad workers encounter serious dangers on a daily basis. As a railroad employee, knowing the risks is the key to staying safe and determining whether your employer is liable for your injuries.  

The experienced Virginia railroad injury lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp believe that railroad employees deserve a safe working environment. If your injury was caused by railroad negligence, contact our Virginia Beach law firm today and find out how a FELA attorney can help you recover financial compensation. 

What Dangers Do Railroad Workers Encounter?

The most common danger faced by most railroad workers is exposure to toxic and harmful substances. Railroads transport a seemingly unlimited number of various materials, some of which are extremely dangerous. As a result, strict regulations have been enacted concerning the proper handling of these substances. If these rules are not enforced, the result could be serious illness and injury. Exposure to the hazardous substances transported and encountered by railroad workers include: 

  • Chlorine
  • Fertilizer
  • Asbestos
  • Crude oil
  • Ethanol 
  • Acids and corrosives
  • Explosives
  • Creosote
  • Petrochemicals 
  • Toxic inhalation hazards
  • Heavy metals associated with the disposal and use of coal

These and many others can cause poisoning as well as numerous types of lung diseases and cancers. 

Sadly, when a new worker is not trained properly, it increases the odds of a serious injury. For instance, an employer who is negligent in complying with Federal Railroad Administration or Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards is at a heightened risk of employee injuries. This includes failing to train workers on the correct way to handle machinery, failing to make workers aware of a dangerous situation, and forcing new hires to work on cars without working safety features. These dangers can easily lead to disfigurement, broken bones, internal organ damage, amputations, and even wrongful death.

What Should I Do if I’m Injured?

You should notify your manager or immediate supervisor as soon as the injury takes place. Do not take responsibility for the accident by apologizing. Keep your statement short, vague, and stick to the facts. This should prevent someone from twisting your words, taking them out of context, or casting aspersions on your abilities as a worker.  

Request the services of a union representative and contact an attorney right away. Keep in mind that you don’t just need the closest personal injury attorney; you need an attorney who understands and has experience handling FELA claims. Never give a statement to the rail company’s claims department or sign any papers until you have legal counsel.

Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries. Be honest with your doctor and give a detailed account of how your injury happened. Explain the degree of any discomfort or pain you are feeling and follow their treatment plan to the letter.  

Speak With an Experienced FELA Attorney

The Virginia FELA attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have been at the forefront of investigating railroad accidents and employee injury claims under the Federal Employers Liability Act for over 40 years. 

If you sustained an injury or were exposed to hazardous materials during the scope and course of your job as a railway employee, we want to make sure you get the physical and financial recovery you deserve. Schedule a free consultation by calling our law offices at (833) 997-1774.  

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