Tunnel workers have a very important job, but they can easily get hurt. Workers have to work in sometimes-unstable areas, which means that roof falls or cave-ins could quickly lead to trouble.
Most of the time, construction companies and individuals working on these projects take their time and make sure to support the areas around them with special tools, but there is always a risk of some serious accidents happening.
Common injuries tunnel workers deal with
There are several common injuries that tunnel workers may suffer from.
From hard labor, workers can end up with repetitive strain injuries, torn ligaments and fall injuries, for example. While within the tunnel, there could be a risk of a cave-in that would cause crushing injuries, head injuries, suffocation or worse.
There is sometimes a risk of being exposed to radon, depending on where the tunnel is being dug out, and there may be exposure to silica or cement dust. All of these toxic and irritating exposures can lead to issues like occupational asthma, lung disease and others.
Good tunnel safety makes a difference for these workers
It’s essential that anyone working in tunnels is kept safe with the right approach to working in those conditions. Some common safety training occurs in the following areas:
- Handling mechanical equipment
- Flood control
- Air monitoring and ventilation
- Emergency procedures
Workers can also help keep themselves safe by taking precautionary measures such as wearing the right safety equipment. Steel helmets may be advised in some cases, as may protective clothing, rubber gloves, goggles and steel-toed shoes.
Since power failure could be a major cause for concern, it’s also suggested to always have at least two sources of power within tunnels. That way, a loss of power won’t contribute to a major accident.
Hurt? You may be covered by FELA
The Federal Employers Liability Act, or FELA, may cover you if you are injured while working on a tunnel for a railway. And traumatic work-related injury is covered by FELA when you work for railroads like Amtrak, New Jersey Transit Railroad, Long Island Railroad and others. If you’re hurt, it’s worth looking into the options that will help you seek compensation.