Protecting Whistleblowers & The Injured

5 dangerous substances railroad workers may encounter at work

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2023 | Railroad Injuries

As a railroad worker, you need protective equipment to help prevent direct exposure to harmful substances, including toxic chemicals. Without appropriate protective measures, handling these substances may increase your risk of contracting severe and long-lasting health conditions. Here are some dangerous chemicals a railroad worker may encounter on the job.

Heavy metals

Railway workers might come in contact with several toxic heavy metals, one of which is lead. Lead is generally no longer in common use, although you may still encounter it through old structures and equipment. Prolonged and unprotected contact with lead may result in lead poisoning.

Toxic fumes

Upon exposure to heat, some substances release poisonous gases that might cause varying symptoms to anyone inhaling them. For this reason, employees working with potentially toxic fumes should consider wearing proper breathing apparatuses.


Railroad workers sometimes handle acids and other corrosive substances as cargo or for maintenance work. Direct skin contact with these chemicals may lead to various types of injuries, so it is necessary to exercise care when transporting or using them.

Petroleum products

Exposure to certain petroleum products may have adverse effects on people. For example, inhaling diesel exhaust may increase railroad workers’ lung cancer risk.


Railroad workers might encounter many forms of this hazard as cargo or as tools in building railroads. Some substances might also explode with improper handling, such as certain types of fertilizer.

Working in the railroad sector exposes you to various dangers. Wearing protective equipment and becoming more familiar with the laws that uphold your safety and rights can help you stay safe while doing your job.

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