Working in the railroad industry in Connecticut and across the United States is among the most dangerous jobs a person can have. In fact, to emphasize the importance of workplace safety, the railroad industry does not participate in workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Instead, a worker must prove the injuries are the result negligence on the part of the railroad. Instead of insurance companies paying for railroad worker injuries, the railroads themselves are held responsible. This motivates railroads to strive for safety.
However, the safety of railroad workers often depends on the standards of private shuttle services contracted to transport employees. One man in another state has fought for five years for tougher safety measures for railroad transport companies, and his state’s legislature is close to signing a bill to provide those measures. The man was compelled to work for stricter standards after a rail yard accident involving a shuttle van nearly took his life and left three others dead, including the driver of the van.
The man is left with permanent disabilities resulting from brain damage, but he took up the fight for his fellow workers. Currently, there are no regulations for private transport companies, including drug testing, vehicle inspections and standards for drivers. Additionally, the transport shuttle industry does not keep track of accident statistics. These factors likely place rail workers in danger every day.
In order to obtain compensation for railroad worker injuries, employees carry a heavy burden of proof. Trying to meet that burden within the statute of limitations may be challenging if the worker is trying to recover from injuries. The help of an attorney with a keen focus on railroad law will be invaluable to anyone in Connecticut who has questions about seeking compensation for a workplace injury.
Source: nwpr.org, “Injured Rail Worker Hopeful For New Safety Rules After 5 Years“, Austin Jenkins, April 11, 2017