Last year, in 2021, fatal injuries involving railroads hit the highest level that has been seen since 2007. There were a total of 893 deaths. That is more than the 744 fatalities from 2020 by about 20%. It’s a notable increase and raises serious concerns about this trend in the future.
But it wasn’t just fatal injuries that saw the increase. Nonfatal injuries also went up by about 4% over the numbers from 2020, reaching 5,781. Back in 2020, there were 5,550 nonfatal injuries.
When looking specifically at nonfatal occupational illnesses and injuries, studies found that there were 3,216. While it is true that 66 of them occurred at railroad crossings, the majority of them took place in other locations.
How can you stay safe?
If you’re working on the railroad, all of these statistics just help to underscore how dangerous this job can be. There are a lot of risks that you face every day that you clock in. What can you do to stay safe?
Perhaps the most important thing is to get proper training from your employer. They need to show you how to do your job in a safe and controlled manner, and training should continue for as long as you are employed, at least when new technology and devices are implemented. All workers need to have the tools to do their job properly, and that doesn’t just mean physical tools.
But the reality is that accidents can happen to anyone. Even the best workers, with decades of experience, can be injured when something goes wrong on the job. The railroad industry involves a lot of heavy machinery, so these mistakes are likely to lead to injuries. If something like this does happen to you, make sure that you are well aware of all of your legal rights.