Many jobs in the railroad industry come with a certain degree of danger. That is why a number of regulations exist aimed at holding railroad companies to a high standard of safety. Unfortunately, those companies often fall short.
Railroad responsibilities under FELA
In 1906, Congress enacted the Federal Employer Liability Act (FELA) requiring railroad companies to meet certain standards and provide legal compensation to any workers injured as the result of negligence or an unsafe working environment.
Under FELA, railroads are required to:
- Ensure that the workplace is free of any unnecessary safety hazards
- Warn workers when safety hazards are present
- Provide workers with the training and supervision they need to be safe in their jobs
- Avoid unreasonable work quotas
- Assist workers if a task strains them beyond their physical limitations
In addition to FELA, there are a number of other regulations that railroad companies must adhere to including, in certain work locations, OSHA safety standards and regulations.
If employers strictly followed all regulations, the railroad industry would be much safer. Many times, however, companies either ignore or improperly implement the regulations, putting their workers – and the public – at risk. Railroad companies have been known to use one-man crews, create dangerous schedules with long hours, fail to properly train employees and craft policies that encourage work in unsafe conditions.
What to do if you have been injured due to unsafe work conditions
FELA dictates that a railroad company is liable any time a railroad worker is injured due to situations that would have been avoided had the railroad company strictly adhered to the safety regulations in place.
To recover compensation, you will need to report your injury and follow additional steps. Learn more about what to do after an injury here.