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Railroad Accident Caused by Insufficient Staffing

Often an allegation that we make as lawyers filing Federal Employer Liability Act (FELA) claims is that there was a lack of help provided to the worker, and this made their job unsafe.  Allegations of negligence by the railroads, causing injuries to engineers, conductors, carmen, and maintenance workers can be about the equipment provided or the method of doing the work.  If the method of doing the job is unsafe and a worker gets injured, then the railroad can be held responsible for that railroad worker’s injury. Therefore, if you were injured in a Virginia railroad accident caused by insufficient staffing, you should reach out to Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers.

How Cuts to Railroad Staff Cause Accidents

Often the cause of injuries on the railroad to workers results from crew size reductions that have happened over time on the major railroads like CSX and Norfolk Southern.  The giant freight railroads of the east reduce their labor costs whenever they can. Sometimes they replace men with machines and other times just get rid of people without providing additional help of any sort in the important tasks for railroad workers in all departments including transportation, mechanical, and engineering.

Any task that involves lifting heavy objects from 50 pounds to 150 pounds might be more safely done by two men or with the assistance of a crane or hydraulic lift.  These kinds of lifting tasks occur throughout the railroad, and yet often one person is forced to lift some extremely heavy objects in such a way that they end up hurting their back or having the heavy object fall on them and crush their foot or similar body part.  Usually what you find is that the railroad either over time stopped providing two guys to do the job, or they have set up the worker on a task either in a late-night shift or somewhere out on the road where there are not enough people around to make the job safe.

It’s almost always true that if there were more staff for the job, a particular injury could have been avoided.  Over time, the train crews that operate freight up and down the tracks have gone from five-member crews down to two and sometimes even one-person crews.  They got rid of the firefighters, assistant conductors, and other workers over time.  Now there are trains being regularly operated in railroad yards across America and it’s only one employee with a remote control box so that there’s not even anybody actually physically on the locomotive.  This is a recipe for a disaster, and it’s just one example of inadequate staffing or insufficient help that can lead to wrecks and even deaths during railroad work.

Contact a Virginia Attorney to Learn More About Railroad Accidents Caused by Insufficient Staffing

If you have been hurt on the job, it’s always important to report your injury.  On the injury report, it may ask if you were provided a reasonably safe place to work.  One easy way to answer this question is always “insufficient help.” Our attorneys could further explain how this may work and how insufficient staffing may result in a viable Virginia railroad accident claim.

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