Types of Injuries
Slips and Falls
Injuries resulting from slipping or falling due to an unstable surface may be the most common type of work related injury. In many cases, the railroad company may try to pass the injury off as a conditional hazard of the work environment. However, it is the responsibility of the employer to provide a reasonably safe workplace and many of these types of injuries could have been prevented if the proper safety precautions had been taken on the part of the employer.
The Federal Railroad Administration has established several regulations in order to help ensure that railroad employees work in a safe work environment. If you were injured in a slip or fall as a result of the railroad company neglecting any of these regulations, you may have a strong case to file a FELA claim. You should seek the advice of an experienced FELA attorney immediately to help ensure that your rights are protected.
When railroad equipment fails or malfunctions, the consequences can be devastating. There are several regulations created by the Federal Railroad Administration that provide guidelines for the safe practice and maintenance of railroad equipment. The railroad company is responsible for making sure that these regulations are followed. If you were injured as a result of faulty railroad equipment, you may have FELA claim. Even if the equipment malfunction was the result of the negligence of a railroad coworker, the railroad company may still be held responsible.
Repeated Stress Injuries
There is no doubt that working for a railroad company can be an extremely physical occupation. As a result, railroad workers are at risk, not only to date specific injuries and exposure to toxic chemicals, but also to injuries resulting from the forceful repetitive use of their hands and other body parts. Working in extreme temperatures or in awkward angles and being exposed to harsh vibrations can result in cumulative trauma disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, back strain, and worn-out, damaged joints. It is the responsibility of the railroad company to provide safe work procedures and do everything that they can to provide a safe work environment. If you find that you are experiencing symptoms, (such as numbness or tingling in your limbs, hand/arm/joint pain, and/or loss of grip strength) consult your primary care physician as soon as possible. If your doctor reports that test results were in any way abnormal, then you should contact an experienced FELA attorney immediately to help protect your legal rights.
Not all worker injuries are related to date specific accidents. Every year, hundreds of railroad employees are diagnosed with lung-related diseases as a result of exposure to harmful chemicals that are part of their daily work routine. Working for a railroad company requires risk of exposure to diesel fumes, asbestos, PCBs, rail dust, and various other harmful substances that can result in number of harmful, debilitating, and even fatal diseases. And many of these diseases, such as mesothelioma (caused by exposure to asbestos) are progressive and untreatable. It is the responsibility of the railroad company to do everything they can to provide a workplace that is free of harmful chemicals. And when the use of such chemicals is a necessary part of the job, it is the responsibility of the employer to make sure that the employee is properly trained in the safe uses of the chemical and that the best safety practices are being put into use.
The biggest difference between an injury from a toxic exposure and a date specific injury such as an equipment malfunction or a slip and fall is that it is harder to pinpoint the exact moment of the exposure that caused the injury. Add to that the fact that, for many of the exposure related diseases, there is a considerable gap in time between the date of the exposure and the diagnosis of the disease and these injuries can be difficult to track. If you feel that you have been exposed to a harmful chemical or are starting to show symptoms of a work related disease, such as shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, or coughing, you should seek immediate advice from your primary care physician. You should also speak to one of our experienced FELA attorneys in order to ensure that you do everything possible to properly document the injury and protect your rights.
Hearing damage can start at around 85 decibels. A diesel engine runs at around 125 decibels. With railroad workers constantly being around heavy machinery, they are at a high risk of hearing damage or loss. If you, or a loved one, start to notice changes in hearing, seek advice from your primary care physician. If you find that you have suffered a loss of hearing as a result of exposure to excessive noise conditions at the workplace, you should contact an experienced FELA attorney to make sure that your rights are protected.