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How response time may affect railroad worker injuries

Many Connecticut residents recently joined others throughout the nation in viewing a complete solar eclipse. In southern areas that were in the direct path of the projected orbit map, many say complete darkness encompassed their towns for several minutes. In one state, the darkness factor, as well as negligence, is being blamed as causal factors in a disastrous train accident that resulted in railroad worker injuries.

A union representative slammed CSX railroad leaders, saying the company often places production ahead of worker safety. The union has stated that no workers scheduled to run shifts during the eclipse were given any special training regarding lighting or instruction to stop moving during the darkest moments of the eclipse. One worker's life has been forever changed after he was severely injured in a train crash that took place when darkness fell over the area.

A dispatcher claims to have heard railroad workers calling for help for an injured worker during the eclipse with the main tower giving no response. The tower workers are accused of being away from their stations; instead, they were outdoors watching the eclipse as the injured worker lay in need of emergency care. The worker had reportedly been working on a train and was hit by another in the dark, resulting in the loss of one of his arms.

Railroad worker injuries that include the loss of limbs or other permanently disabling conditions often prevent recovering victims from returning to the workplace. Such situations may prompt injured workers to take legal action against their employers when negligence is suspected as a causal factor. The Federal Employers Liability Act allows injured railroad employees in Connecticut and elsewhere to file negligence claims to seek recovery for their losses.

Source:, "Gory CSX Train Accident Linked To Solar Eclipse", Phil Williams, Aug. 28, 2017

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