Workplace hazards have always been par for the course for railroad workers in California and across the country. This is underscored by the numbers of Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) injury claims that are filed each year. Although improving the safety of these workers remains an ongoing process, many hazards can never be totally eliminated.
Railroad construction workers in California and across the country face multiple work-related hazards. The risks increase when construction on railroad tracks occurs where the workers are also threatened by vehicular traffic. The threat was underscored by an incident involving a hit-and-run driver that occurred in another state on a recent Tuesday morning. Fortunately, railroad workers injured on the job are typically allowed to file FELA injury claims for financial assistance.
When railroad workers in California and other states suffer work-related injuries, they are typically eligible for financial assistance under the Federal Employers Liability Act. However, navigating the claims process could be challenging, and a worker's case can be adversely affected if the necessary steps are not taken. The events that occur in the immediate aftermath of an accident can determine the success of FELA injury claims.
Injuries that railroad workers suffer in California or other states fall under a law called the Federal Employers' Liability Act, or "FELA." This law permits workers to recover compensation for financial as well as non-economic losses. However, full recovery often requires extensive investigation and takes some time to achieve.
Railroad workers in California cannot make claims under workers' compensation when injured on the job. Instead, they make a claim under the Federal Employers' Liability Act. FELA provides far greater remedies and benefits than workers' compensation law. However, in an FELA case, the injured worker must meet certain requirements that employees covered by workers' coompensation need not meet.
Both the implementation of the railways in California and the maintenance of their daily operations rank among the greatest feats of human engineering and ingenuity. If you have ever worked in the railroad industry, then you probably know that the immense forces involved do not always succumb to the systems designed to control them. In short: Accidents happen.
While there are many dangerous things about working for a railroad, the biggest danger may surprise you. It is not any of the equipment or the actual travel along the rails. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the biggest danger for rail workers is fatigue.
Railroad employees face a greater risk of injury than workers in most other professions. This is why Congress enacted the Federal Employers Liability Act in 1908. The government provides this coverage to all railroad employees around the country because such workers are not covered by any state workers compensation laws.
The freight railroads would have the public believe that operating massive freight trains with a "one-man crew" is perfectly safe.
Everyone is aware of the laws regarding using mobile devices when driving a vehicle on California roadways. However, are there any rules for workers on trains? These are also vehicles, but traditional road laws do not apply because they are not traveling on roadways. According to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, the Federal Railroad Administration has set guidelines for mobile use for railroad workers operating a train.