When the first tracks were laid for the transcontinental railroad in the 1800s, many people took advantage of new job opportunities by securing work at various locations along the planned route. Many of the workers were immigrants, perhaps including some from Connecticut. It didn’t take long for railroad worker injuries to occur, especially when mountains were blasted with dynamite to create enormous tunnels through which locomotives would eventually pass.
Entire books have been written on the topic, including graphic stories regarding tragic accidents that took the lives of many workers. Tales of faulty discharges from dynamites that suddenly went off when workers were sent in to inspect the situations and other mishaps are evidence of just how dangerous the work was. Everything was done for the sake of progress, and many railroad employees died before the first trains ever traveled the newly laid tracks.
Although trains have been running cross-country routes for well over a century now, there are no longer massive groups of immigrants dying on the job in tunnels and along mountainsides. However, railroad work continues to be one of the most dangerous types of jobs in the nation. Many accidents still occur, leaving workers injured and unable to return to their duties.
From fall-off accidents, to workers being struck by moving trains, as well as electrical mishaps or other work-related incidents, railroad worker injuries continue to plague modern-day train stations and travel routes. Picking up the pieces in the aftermath of an on-the-job accident on the railroad can be quite challenging, even in the best of circumstances. Connecticut railroad workers currently facing post-work-accident problems may wish to consult with attorneys well versed in the Federal Employers Liability Act to explore options that may be available to rectify their situations.
Source: herb.ashp.cuny.edu, “A Chinese Immigrant Recalls the Dangers of Railroad Work“, July 5, 2017