The Connecticut railroad and other railway systems in the nation helped change the face of American commerce and travel. Historical literature is rich with stories of adventure, political debate, corruption and danger in the days when the very first tracks were pounded into the ground. If you enjoy reading about the nation’s railroad history, you likely already know that part of that danger came from train robbers and other criminals. Much of it also involved the danger of railroad work itself.
Thankfully, if you earn a living on a railroad today, your risk of being attacked by a gang of train robbers is little to none. However, certain types of railroad work continue to pose extremely high risks for injury. Whether you work at the same position every day or your duties fluctuate, knowing the risks ahead of time may help you stay safe. Since most accidents occur suddenly and unexpectedly, it’s also a good idea to know what type of support is available if an injury occurs while on the job.
Three types of railroad work that are high risk jobs
Even if your job on the railroad is behind a ticket counter, it’s possible that you may suffer injury at work. It’s logical to assume, however, that some types of assignments pose more immediate injuries than others. The following list includes information about the types of railroad jobs that are often associated with worker injuries:
- If your duties on the railroad include painting, whether you are a painter or merely exposed to the supplies or painting activity as it occurs, this is one of the most injury-prone positions in the industry. If you are suffering cognitive impairment of any kind or motor skill latency, you may want to seek a medical examination. You might also want to mention to the doctor that you work near railroad paint.
- As a locomotive driver, you would be at the top of most lists for highest injury risk positions on the railroad. The concerns not only pertain to collisions but also injuries involving hearing loss. A locomotive driver is continually exposed to very loud noises. You may also be surprised to learn that locomotive operators appear to be at higher risks for chromosomal aberrations, possibly due to exposure to high magnetic fields.
- Transit workers also are among railroad workers at high risk for injury. As a transit worker, you may come in contact with various hazardous chemicals. This type of work also seems to be prone to carpal tunnel syndrome, a repetitive stress injury that develops over time.
Your employer is obligated to inform you of any known risks associated with your job. It is also up to your employer to provide proper training and equipment to help keep you as safe as possible while you work. The Federal Employers Liability Act protects you by allowing you to file personal injury claims against any railroad employer whose negligence causes you injury.