Though many people tend to forget how vital the railroad industry is, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the trade employs 141.7 million people. As such, it’s clear that becoming a railroad worker is still a viable way to making a living while contributing to one of the nation’s most crucial forms of transport.
Unfortunately, railroad-related accidents can and do happen all the time. Therefore, every employee in the industry must understand what safety measures to take and what to do in case of an injury.
Make sure to keep reading as we explore some of the different hazards and injuries that railroad workers face!
Slip and Fall Accidents
The U.S. Department of Transportation found that the vast majority of all injuries within the railroad industry are the result of muscle strain, primarily in the torso. What’s more, their report states that most strain-related injuries occurred due to a slip and fall accident on the job site.
In total, these strains accounted for over half of all reported accidents, with many workers unable to walk, run, or operate heavy machinery following the escapade.
Arc flashes occur when electricity diverges from its intended course. If you’ve never seen an arc flash, consider yourself lucky, as they’re terrifying to witness and often result in catastrophic injuries or even fatalities.
Flashes often occur when equipment isn’t properly cooled down or when workers fail to wear the proper safety equipment when working around electricity.
Exposure to Toxic Chemicals
Railroad workers are around chemicals like benzene, polychlorinated biphenyls, various forms of nitrates, and much more. Though these chemicals serve an important purpose, if not handled properly, it’s only a matter of time before they become a workplace safety hazard.
That goes double if you’re working on a railroad that is already functional, as workers tend to breathe in harmful materials from coal, de-greasing agents, and more.
What to Do if You’re Injured
The first thing to do when railroad accidents occur is to seek medical attention. As stated above, some of the associated injuries with railroad work can be quite dangerous.
Next, report the incident to the on-duty supervisor. Have anyone who witnessed the incident with you so they can corroborate your story.
Chances are, you’ll need to go to the hospital and take some time off work. If your employer forces you to keep working, they’re putting you in an unsafe spot.
Contact an injury lawyer like those at fela attorney. They have team members who specialize in railroad injuries and can help you get the money you need to take care of your family.
Every Railroad Worker Should Look Out for These Dangers
Though worksite supervisors do everything they can to keep their workers safe, it only takes a second for railroad accidents to seriously hurt or even kill a team member. Make sure that you and your coworkers are safe by following industry-standard protocols and don’t hesitate to report unsafe working conditions or on-the-site injuries.
And remember, an accident attorney can help you find compensation if an incident occurs, so don’t hesitate to reach out to one if you’re a railroad worker.
For more tips on all things work and workplace safety, make sure to check out the rest of our blog!