Congress passed the Federal Employees Liability Act to protect railroad workers, giving them the right to seek compensation for injuries. In addition, the law enacted uniform safety measures for all railroad companies in Illinois and throughout the country that require them to make the workplace safe. The FELA outlines the responsibilities of railroad employers.
FELA and safety hazards
Under the FELA, the employer must make the work environment reasonably free from hazards, which also extends to tools and equipment. They have to warn employees of possible work dangers, even if the employee may know of them. The employee should inspect the work area to correct potential dangers. If they fail to reasonably discover a hazard, they could be held liable under the FELA.
Safety during training and supervision
The FELA requires that employees have the proper equipment that allows them to do the tasks. Employers should provide all employees with the needed training to operate equipment safely.
The FELA also states that the workplace needs to be monitored to avoid injuries. If an employee gets injured due to inadequate supervision, the area must be inspected and the hazard removed. The employer must ensure that all safety rules are observed. If they don’t follow their own safety rules, employers may be held liable.
Employers have the responsibility to keep employees from intentional harm from other employees. They must ensure that they have reasonable work quotas and give assistance to employees if they cannot physically manage the task alone.
The FELA regulations named are not exclusive, so if an employee does not find the violation listed, they can still seek compensation for injuries. An attorney may make a professional case evaluation to determine if a violation has been committed.