Working on the railroad means that you’re facing serious risks each day that you’re on the job. One thing that you shouldn’t have to deal with is the consequences that can come when you work with a conductor who is negligent. It is up to the railroad to determine whether conductors are trained and fit for duty. When they aren’t, it’s possible that other employees will suffer harm.
The Federal Railroad Administration has specific regulations to limit the risks that employees and others will face because of negligent conductors. An average of 37% of train accidents are caused at least in part by human errors.
One thing that must become a priority is the investigation of close calls. These aren’t necessarily reportable events, but they could have been. Understanding these may help prevent future incidents that lead to injuries or even death.
The use of positive train control systems can also prevent crashes, so it’s imperative that companies get these put into place in the most efficient manner possible, especially when trains are operating on high-density rails or in areas where the trains are moving at high speeds. Thinking about the purpose and likely usages of the locomotive can help companies determine what safety measures are appropriate.
When employees are injured at work on a railroad, they have to make a claim for compensation under the Federal Employer Liability Act (FELA) instead of workers’ compensation. They can still seek compensation for things like medical costs and the loss of income, but they can also seek damages for pain and suffering. Working with someone who’s familiar with FELA is beneficial.