Railroad work is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, there were 3,050 railroad worker injuries in 2020. Many common injuries include slips, trips, and falls; contact with equipment; and being struck by objects. Railroad workers need to be aware of these risks and take steps to prevent these injuries from occurring.
Many of these injuries are preventable with the proper safety precautions in place. Here we will discuss some of the measures you can implement to reduce common railroad workplace accidents.
Offering appropriate safety gear and other work equipment
Railroad accidents can happen for many reasons, but one of the most common causes is a failure to observe safety procedures. One way to help prevent these accidents is to ensure that all employees are properly equipped with the appropriate safety gear. This includes things like hard hats, goggles, boots, hi-vis clothing, and earplugs to protect them from potential injuries. In addition, you should also provide training on how to use the gear properly.
It’s also important to ensure that the work area is properly marked off and properly cleared of obstacles and hazards.
Training and mentorship
The majority of rail accidents are caused by human error, so it stands to reason that formal training can go a long way in preventing them. Railroad workers need to be able to perform their duties safely and efficiently, and this can only be accomplished through proper training.
This includes learning about proper procedures for things like switch operations, hand signals, recognizing and responding to track defects, etc.
In order to ensure that employees are adequately trained, companies should provide comprehensive manuals that cover all aspects of railway operation, including both on-the-job and classroom instruction. Furthermore, newly hired workers should be paired with experienced staffers whenever possible so that they can gain first-hand knowledge of how the rail system works.
Railroad employers have an obligation to help keep their employees safe — but they don’t always put in the effort. You might be liable to get workers’ compensation benefits when the accident results from employer negligence. Make sure you know your rights and understand your responsibilities as a railroad worker to help keep yourself safe while on the job.