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Things to know about railroad safety and FELA

Do you work on a Louisiana railroad? Whether your job is on a commuter train, a passenger locomotive or a freight train, you're undoubtedly aware of the risk for personal injury involved in your line of work. Hopefully, your employer has provided necessary training and all available equipment and resources to help keep you and your co-workers as safe as possible.

Recent years have brought significant advances in modern technology that shows great promise for its ability to help prevent railroad accidents. There will never be a way to completely eliminate the risk, however. That's why it's wise for anyone in your line of work (as well as those who travel on trains as passengers) to research ways to help prevent injury. It's especially prudent as a railroad employee to familiarize yourself with the Federal Employers Liability Act if you haven't already done so. It is key to seeking recovery for your losses if you suffer injury on the job.

Practical suggestions to avoid railroad injuries

It's easy to take your own safety for granted when you get used to carrying out the same tasks and duties on a regular basis. The first means for protecting yourself, however, is to remember that you can suffer injury in a sudden and unexpected manner. Keeping the following list of tips in mind may also be useful:

  • As is the case when operating a motor vehicle of any kind, your level of alertness may be crucial to avoiding injury. Especially when standing on or near railroad tracks, it's of paramount importance that you keep your eyes and ears open to any sound or object movement in the vicinity that may signify an approaching train.
  • Unless you're physically on a train that is passing through a station, it is always best to stay several feet away from the edge of a platform. Trains typically extend the width of the tracks they're on and this can be a recipe for disaster if you are standing too close to the edge.
  • When embarking or disembarking a train, be mindful of any gaps between the train and the steps or platform edges.
  • Adherence to all posted safety signs and regulations increases your chances of avoiding severe injury.
  • Cutting corners regarding workers' protocol or even crossing the tracks at a juncture beyond or before the signs for safe crossing may land you in the hospital if an accident occurs.

FELA is your main source of protection if you suffer injury on the job as a railroad worker. Train injuries are often catastrophic and you may be unable to return to your workplace duties during recovery or beyond. In the past, many train accidents were later found to have been preventable, occurring because of human error or administrative negligence. You may wonder what options are available in such circumstances to help you recover your losses.

Many Louisiana railroad workers pursue legal action against their employers when they believe employer negligence led to their injuries.

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