Railroad workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in fact, railroad employees are approximately twice as likely to die on the job as the average American worker. The risk is shared by conductors, signalmen, track laborers and others, and even non-fatal injuries can be serious, leading to chronic pain and other debilitating issues.
Every day, railroaders sustain injuries that include:
- Broken bones and fractures: Broken bones are among the most common injuries sustained by railroad workers. They can be the result of something as simple as falling on an oily surface or losing balance while walking on ballast.
- Burns: Railroaders spend a significant amount of time around hot metal surfaces and risk severe burns. There are also dangers from explosions, hose ruptures, engine fires, and chemical solvents.
- Back, neck, and joint injuries: Railroad work requires a lot of heavy lifting and repetitive movement. This can lead to back, neck and joint injuries that can happen suddenly or over a long period of time.
- Ligament and tendon injuries: Repetitive movements and heavy lifting can also lead to ligament and tendon injuries.
- Crush injuries: Rail yards are constantly in motion, with freight cars and locomotives moving in and out, not to mention cargo and heavy equipment. The risk of being accidentally crushed is significant for railroad workers.
- Electrocution: Another cause of injury, electrocution can cause burns, damage tissue, or trigger cardiac arrest.
- Head injuries: Railroaders are at significant risk of head injuries. They can be struck in the head by falling cargo or a loose tool, or the head injury can be the result of a fall. The severity ranges from a mild concussion to a life-altering traumatic brain injury.
- Disfigurement and loss of limb: Many of the above injuries can lead to long-term consequences for railroad workers. They may have long-term disfigurement from a bad burn or even lose limbs to amputation from a crush injury.
Because railroaders are exposed to significant peril on the job, they are granted certain rights and protections under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). The law mandates compensation for railroad workers who are injured if their employers are negligent. This can include compensation for back pay and future wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
If you are a railroad worker who has been injured on the job, please contact us about a possible case.