According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there have been more than 114,000 railroad accidents around the country over the past 10 years. Of these accidents, more than 7,000 were fatal. The FRA, however, concedes that it only investigates two of every ten railroad accidents in Illinois and elsewhere in the U.S. Therefore, most railroad worker injuries go unnoticed due to inadequate investigations.
Although rail working conditions are dangerous, most accidents are preventable. In case of railroad injuries, the workers are compensated by the Federal Employers Liability Act. FELA protects railroad employees from any possible liability that isn’t their fault. The act requires that every railroad carrier in the country is liable for any employees’ injuries if the company was negligent.
Common railroad worker injuries
Brain injuries are some of the common injuries affecting railroad workers. They mostly result from head trauma. Depending on the severity, brain injuries can affect you physically and mentally. You can experience headaches, dizziness, lack of balance and speech problems. Additionally, you can also experience anxiety, depression and memory loss. As a railroad worker, wearing a helmet will protect your head from brain injuries. Additionally, you should always maintain caution as you work.
Spinal cord injuries result from any physical trauma on your back. It can be as a result of lifting heavy equipment or getting your back crashed. Most spine injuries are severe and can affect your limbs’ movement. Caution when dealing with heavy rails can prevent spine injuries.
Burn injuries are also prevalent with railroad workers since they are often dealing with hot products. Additionally, these workers also have to weld metal. This combination of hot materials is risky and can lead to burns. Thermal and flash burns are the most common burns affecting railroad workers. For extreme burns, you may have your limbs amputated. Wearing the ideal clothing will protect you from burns.