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Connecticut railroad tracks may be placing you at risk

Whether you've been working on a Connecticut railroad for decades or just recently started a new job, there are certain issues that may place you at risk for injury. Your employer can help reduce that risk and, in fact, is legally obligated to provide proper training and safety equipment to help you and your co-workers stay safe.

Track safety is of particular concern to people in your line of work. Your life may depend on the condition of the tracks. If your employer has not fulfilled the obligation to maintain track safety, you are at risk for collision that may result in serious, even life-threatening injuries. The Federal Employers Liability Act is especially important to railroad workers who suffer workplace injuries. 

Rails nowadays compared to long ago

Advanced technology has definitely helped improve railroad safety through the years. Tracks typically consist of much stronger, more durable and higher quality materials than they did 50 or more years ago. While railroad tracks last longer nowadays, it doesn't mean companies can install them and forget about them. A minute crack may necessitate replacement, even if the tracks in question should have a much longer life expectancy. Not replacing tracks as needed can cost lives.

What causes rail breaks?

If tracks are better and stronger than they used to be, why do they still break? There are several reasons, including manufacturing defects, effects of climate and weight of cargo loads. No matter how advanced technology becomes, human beings are still capable of error and negligence, which can place you or anyone else working on or traveling by railroad at risk for injury.

What railroad companies are supposed to do

All railroad companies, including those in Connecticut, should regularly check tracks for signs of wear and tear or defects. There are inspection companies who specialize in this type of work. Ultrasound equipment and magnetic field induction tests often fail to detect cracks that may be less than 1 mm in length. There are new types of inspection available to counteract these problems.

The big three

Experts say the best means for reducing injury risk due to track failures on the railroad includes three steps: regularly check tracks for flaws, use the highest quality tests available to do so, and take swift action to make repairs before a minor flaw leads to a major disaster.

Injured railroad worker support

As a railroad worker, workers' compensation insurance does not cover you. The FELA is the governing document that allows you to claim benefits when you suffer injury on the job. It also enables you to file a personal injury claim against your employer if negligence was a causal factor in the incident that caused damages.

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