As a railway worker, you deal with an environment full of potential hazards each day you show up for work. Heavy machinery, high voltages and massive locomotives create a unique set of dangers. The risks are always there but understanding them can help you take appropriate safety measures.
Railway work often involves working near moving trains. You must always keep your eyes and ears open because high-speed trains can approach with little warning. You should also be aware of the mechanical aspects of your surroundings, including signals and switches. A minor error could result in serious consequences, endangering both you and your coworkers.
Overexertion and heavy lifting
Physical exertion is an integral part of railway work. Whether lifting heavy equipment, railroad ties or shoveling ballast, the repetitive stress and strain on your body can lead to overexertion injuries. These can include sprains, strains and chronic issues like back pain.
The railway environment is noisy, with machinery, train horns and track movements. While these noises are part of the job, they can risk your hearing over time. Constant exposure to high noise levels can lead to hearing loss or conditions like tinnitus.
Though rare, derailments, collisions and other catastrophic incidents are a stark reality in the railway industry. The sheer size and speed of trains mean that any mishap can have severe consequences. Human error, equipment failure or even acts of sabotage can lead to such incidents.
Many railways transport hazardous materials like chemicals, petroleum or gas. A spill or leak can expose workers to toxic substances, posing immediate and long-term health risks. Understanding the types of materials you may be handling and how to deal with spills is essential.
Your job as a railway worker is far from easy, as you face numerous hazards at all times. If you suffer an injury or start to notice negative changes in your body related to performing your job duties, you should seek immediate medical care. You have specific rights to help ensure you can get the care you need. Other benefits might also be possible, so be sure to seek legal guidance if you have questions or concerns about pursuing what you’re rightfully due.