Did you know that railroad employees are more likely to develop stress injuries in their hands than people in many other industries? They may also develop a greater number of injuries to the elbows or wrists.
Some of the most common injuries seen in railroad workers include:
- Carpal tunnel
- Tennis elbow
- Ulnar tunnel syndrome
- Trigger finger
- Stress fractures
These kinds of injuries usually happen because of cumulative trauma. That means that regular, repeated impacts or movements may lead to those injuries over time.
How does the Federal Employers Liability Act help with hand, arm and wrist injuries?
FELA isn’t the only way to seek compensation, but if you are hurt at work and believe that your employer is at fault, you can file a claim under FELA. FELA states that railroad employers and companies owe a duty of care of their employees. That duty includes eliminating unsafe work conditions, some of which could lead to these injuries.
Under the act, employers must:
- Guarantee that workers are safe from the harmful (and intentional) acts of others
- Inspect the work area to make sure hazards are eliminated
- Provide a safe work environment, as much as is reasonable
- Provide safe tools, personal protective equipment, safety devices, and equipment
- Not create unreasonable work quotas
- Enforce all safety regulations and protocols in the workplace
- Offer supervision, training and other adequate assistance to their employees
If an employer does not do these things, then FELA may apply and a worker may make a claim.
FELA applies to any kind of traumatic work-related injury that happens on the railroad. Whether you suffer a severe injury such as paralysis or an amputation or develop carpal tunnel, a shoulder injury or other wound, it is your right to make a claim if your employer is at fault.
This act helps keep your employer responsible. Since there is a higher risk that employees could file a claim, your employer may try harder to correct hazardous situations and to keep you and other employees safe.
If you are hurt on the job, it’s worth looking into how the incident happened and if it could have been prevented. Your employer may be on the hook thanks to the FELA.