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Proper maintenance of railroad facilities is of the utmost importance for the safety of railroad workers, railroad passengers and people in vehicles that cross paths with trains. The federal government mandates certain maintenance procedures and compensates train companies for providing safe infrastructure, expanding routes and making repairs after aging or inclement weather affect the tracks.

Unfortunately, some companies may knowingly turn a blind eye to staff members who take shortcuts or don’t fully complete their repair projects. The company may view such work as redundant or expensive, and the workers may find it repetitive and frustrating.

Those feelings and attitudes do not excuse taking actions that could endanger members of the public and lead to potentially catastrophic railroad infrastructure failures. Unfortunately, some people who speak up can wind up punished for doing the right thing.

Railroad businesses should ensure proper performance by workers

Railroad maintenance and repairs are safety-critical, which means that when someone doesn’t do their job, other people could wind up paying the price for that negligence. With railroads reporting increased passenger and freight traffic, inadequate maintenance could generate real risks.

Businesses operating in the railway sector should have multiple layers of oversight to ensure that employees do their jobs and that infrastructure is safe and reliable. If you try to bring information to your employer’s attention, such as workers claiming to do inspections or maintenance that they don’t actually perform, your employer should take that complaint seriously.

Internal whistleblowers can face retaliation from companies

Trying to point out that the coworkers haven’t done their jobs properly or could possibly endanger passengers or the business itself requires a lot of courage. Having those concerns ignored can be very demotivating. Experiencing employer retaliation, ranging from unkind scheduling practices to outright termination, could deter people from ever speaking up again.

If your employer has punished you for trying to ensure that the railroads are safe, you may need to take additional steps to hold the company accountable and protect yourself as a worker. After all, not only does their retaliation against you impact your career and financial future, but it also impacts public safety. Other workers could face the same mistreatment if you don’t stand up against unethical behavior now.