Anyone in Connecticut who works on railroads should know which company is the safest. According to data from the Federal Railroad Administration, it appears that Union Pacific is the safest of the seven U.S. Class 1 railroads. In fact, Union Pacific has been considered the top railroad for employee safety for three years in a row.
The railroad company had a 0.79 reportable injury rate in 2017, which is high when compared to the 0.78 injury rate in 2016 but a clear improvement over the 0.88 injury rate in 2015. This injury rate refers to the total number of injuries per 200,000 employee work hours.
The vice president and chief safety officer has stated that Union Pacific will continue to focus on identifying and eliminating safety risks in the future. Much of the effort comes from employees and how they look out for one another. The company has in place several employee-driven safety initiatives, including Courage to Care, which was implemented in 2012. Employees are always encouraged to halt operations if they believe a fellow worker is in danger.
Twice a year, Union Pacific holds safety stand-downs where all system-wide work is put on hold. During this event, workers hold candid discussions and share experiences with others about any hazards they have encountered. This helps refine the company's safety guidelines.
In the event that railroad workers do get injured, they may seek compensation by filing a FELA claim. These claims are specifically made for railroad injuries, and they differ from workers compensation in one crucial way: The victim must show that the accident resulted from the railroad company's negligence. A lawyer might hire investigators to gather proof against the company, and the lawyer may then negotiate for a settlement or litigate.