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Behind-the-scene problems may lead to railroad accidents


Connecticut railroad workers, like all railroad employees in the nation, face certain inherent risks every day on the job. Some say there have been things going on behind the scenes of many railroad companies that have not only added to those risks but perhaps have led to an increase in railroad accidents. Two major factors with which railroad worker advocates are concerned are precision railroading and budget cuts.

Some analysts say there is a major lack of communication between railroad union safety officials and company safety councils. In fact, many believe the gap is intentional on the part of railroad administrators whose desire may be to streamline performance to increase profitability, which may ultimately lead to less focus on worker safety. There have also been changes in command in several of the nation’s major railroad lines in the past decade that have led to policy changes that many believe have not been in the best interests of railroad workers.

In fact, some modes of operation that had been determined to be unsafe have reportedly once again been allowed, perhaps placing workers at risk for injury. Company officials concerned with precision railroading, which is focused on achieving delivery goals in the least possible amount of time, are thought to be compromising workers’ safety in the process. Another problem appears to be related to administrators’ desires to cut costs and lower operating budgets.

Employee reductions are said to lead to fewer workers having to work longer hours, thus creating dangerous situations where extreme fatigue can lead to errors that have disastrous results. Other changes and employee cuts have led to dispatchers trying to work areas in which they have not been given appropriate amounts of time to become familiar with the territories. Connecticut workers injured in railroad accidents may find themselves in need of experienced legal counsel, especially if they believe employer negligence was a causal factor in their injuries.

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