Railroad work is dangerous. While there have been steps taken to improve the safety for these workers, there are still considerable risks throughout the occupation.
Because of these risks, there are specific laws in place under the Federal Railroad Safety Act that these injured workers can count on.
Railroad worker rights
All railroad workers have the right to report injuries, illnesses, or safety hazards. They can always refuse to follow instructions that violate safety guidelines or laws. These protections include being able to make a report to the authorities if there are violations of Federal Railroad Administration regulations.
A person who is injured while working on the railroad has the right to get medical care for the injury. This can be as little as receiving first aid or as serious as having life-saving medical care. Once they have a treatment plan, they have the right to follow that plan.
Retaliation is illegal
If you speak out about a safety hazard or report, it’s illegal for your employer to retaliate against you. They can’t take any negative employment action, including moving you to a less desirable job, terminating your employment, or anything similar. If they do, you should report the matter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. You only have 180 days to make the formal complaint, however, so don’t waste time.
If you’ve been injured while working on the railroad or have been a victim of retaliation for reporting safety issues, be sure that you fully understand your rights. Working with an attorney who’s familiar with these actions can help you to ensure that you get what’s rightfully yours and that you understand your responsibilities.