The economic, political and social changes that occurred in the United States with the development of a transcontinental railroad system are clearly evident in historical literature and discussed often, even to this day. In fact, many people in Connecticut and other East Coast states continue to make their livings on the railroad. The United States was a young nation when the Industrial Revolution and construction of elaborate railroads changed its landscape (and its citizens) forever.
One of the greatest benefits a working railroad system provided was lower shipping costs, which came as a delight to both merchants and consumers alike. Something that perhaps was not so anticipated, however, were the various hazards involved in working on a railroad. Fast forward to 2017 and you find railroad work even more dangerous today than it was back then.
Workers at risk on the job
Many types of work are inherently dangerous, such as construction jobs, agricultural work and various community service positions, fire and rescue for instance. Railroad work also ranks high on the list for jobs that pose safety risks to employees. Below, are some of the most common hazards people who work on the railroad face:
- Vehicle accidents: Many workers are injured when they’re struck by moving railway vehicles or involved in collisions that take place during transportation missions on the job.
- Toxic materials: You’re probably familiar with the bright red signs often painted on the sides of railroad cars to alert all who see them that hazardous materials are contained within.
- Inclement weather: From long hours under the scorching heat of the summer sun to rain, snow, sleet and high winds, railroad workers often endure extreme climate conditions.
- Repetitive stress situations: Those who work on the railroad must often stand in the position for hours on end. Their tasks and duties may also involve repeated motions that can cause stress-related injuries over time.
- Loud noises: Exposure to very loud noises can cause severe damage to your hearing. Locomotive workers can suffer damage to their inner ears.
- Cancer risks: Locomotive drivers are at high risk for certain types of cancer, including those associated with blood and bone marrow.
There are physical and genetic risks present in railroad work. You’ve likely read about several disasters in past years involving train crashes, spills and other mishaps that caused many fatalities, injuries and hazards to both workers and community members at large. Whether you suffered injury in a single incident, or developed an adverse health condition after working on a railroad for an extended period of time, you may need long-term medical care and other assistance in order to achieve a full recovery.
One of the people who can help injured Connecticut railroad workers is a personal injury attorney experienced in railroad injury litigation. The laws that govern such matters are complex and it can be quite challenging to determine how best to proceed to seek compensation for damages. An attorney can act as a personal advocate to help an injured worker protect his or her rights and obtain justice.