Railroad transportation may not be as common as motor vehicle transportation or flying, but it is still one of the more common ways that people and products move around the country. Unlike buses and motorized passenger vehicles, trains can carry dozens if not hundreds of people at one time, to say nothing of how much weight they can theoretically pull when carrying goods and supplies instead of human cargo.
Trains are efficient because they can travel with many cars at one time. The size and carrying capacity of trains create an opportunity for catastrophic accidents, which is why those who work for railroad companies should take prompt action when they notice safety issues.
Workers have the right to report issues to their employer or the government
In theory, when a worker notices a serious safety concern on the job, their first report should be to their employer. It seems reasonable that companies would appreciate a worker pointing out an issue that could lead to an accident and major liability for the company.
However, if that individual knows that their employer is aware of the issue or believes that they might face retaliation for bringing up concerns to their employer, reporting an issue directly to the government may feel like a safer option.
Regardless of whether you make a report to your employer or to a government regulatory agency, you have protection as a whistleblower. Those legal protections mean that your employer should not penalize you for calling attention to a safety issue.
Employer retaliation can look like firing or miserable job conditions
There are many ways that a business can take punitive action against an employee who was only trying to look out for the best interest of the public. Some companies will find excuses to terminate that worker. Others will try to force someone out by giving them miserable job responsibilities, cutting their pay, forcing them into a different position or changing their shift. If you believe that your employer wants to punish you for taking action on safety concerns, documenting their behavior now and informing yourself more of your rights as a whistleblower can put you in a position to effectively stand up for yourself.