Railroad worker injuries in California remain higher than other industries, even though fewer fatalities are reported in this industry. FELA injury claims data shows that most injuries and deaths among railroad workers occur on the active tracks and in the rail yards. Miscommunication between workers and control centers is reported to be the cause of the majority of injuries and deaths of workers on active tracks.
Caught-in and crushed-by injuries are prevalent among workers involved in switching, coupling and loading cars, and also those workers who operate hatches and doors. Damaged doors and shifted loads can cause severe injuries to rail yard workers. Walking between cars that are not secured could cause deadly crushing injuries, especially when capstans or winches are used to maneuver cars.
Debris and garbage in the rail yard can lead to falls caused by slips and trips. Cleaning and maintaining walking surfaces can prevent such accidents. Warning signs and safeguards around elevated openings and platforms can prevent falls, and workers who jump from rail cars can suffer sprains and strains. They are also encouraged to wear protective boots with nonslip soles.
Railroad workers are typically eligible for compensation to cover on-the-job injury-related expenses. The Federal Employers’ Liability Act covers medical costs, lost wages and other damages, including pain and suffering.
If you are a railroad worker and have been injured on-the-job, the most sensible thing to do would be to discuss the matter with a California attorney who has extensive experience in navigating FELA injury claims.