The railways are utilized by members of the public across Connecticut. Trains also play a key role in carrying vital goods across the state and country.
Thousands of people are employed in this sector. Jobs can pay well and there is a steady stream of work, but there are also a number of risks. One hazard that is often overlooked is the danger of breathing in toxic fumes.
Many of the rail networks across the country are still powered by diesel. While breathing in diesel fumes on a one-off basis may not cause significant harm, continued exposure can result in breathing difficulties and long-term health problems.
What to look out for around diesel fumes
There is always a certain risk with working alongside the heavy machinery associated with track repair and maintenance, but employers have a duty to keep these risks to a minimum. Fumes are another notable hazard. If you are constantly exposed to pools of thick blue diesel smoke, then your health could be in jeopardy. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) considers diesel exhaust fumes to be carcinogenic, and there are studies that indicate extended exposure heightens the risk of contracting lung cancer.
Protecting your rights
Your employers have a duty to implement safety protocols that limit your risks of exposure to harmful substances. Vessels should be regularly maintained to ensure that emissions are as low as practicable. Workers should also be provided with effective Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as face masks, where ventilation is an issue.
You have a right to go to work knowing that you are not being placed at undue risk. You should also be able to report any safety concerns without being penalized. If you feel like your legal rights have been disregarded in these areas, be sure to explore your options further.