Ganly & Ramer, P.L.L.C.
Free Consultation: 828-348-6957
View Blog Navigation

Spike in track worker deaths prompts new safety recommendations

In a trend that a National Transportation Safety Board spokesperson called "disturbing," the number of fatalities among workers completing projects on railway tracks has increased over the past few years. According to reports, 15 workers, including one in North Carolina, were killed in 2013. This figure is up from eight in 2012 and five in 2011.

The NTSB began an investigation after the sudden increase. In a meeting on Sept. 24, the group approved a report that suggested that difference between rules set up by the Federal Railroad Administration and Occupational Safety and Health Administration may cause confusion. In order to mitigate that issue, the report suggested that federal safety standards should be extended, placing additional rules on railroad workers.

In addition, the report suggested that railroads should include unions in investigations into accidents. This may be beneficial to worker safety because the union members may have some specialized knowledge of the operation. The NTSB also suggested that the FRA include "hazard recognition" into its national inspection program.

Even as federal safety groups take steps that might mitigate the risks associated with railroad work, many employees might still face dangerous conditions that could cause serious injury or death. However, to cover the damages stemming from work-related accidents, many employers are legally obligated to carry workers' compensation insurance, which might provide an injured worker or a deceased employee's family with financial support.

In order to access the benefits offered by an employer's policy, a worker might need to file a claim. This process can be complicated, and failure to file the proper paperwork may result in delays or in the denial of the claim. However, an attorney who is familiar with work accident claims might be able to help a client pursue disbursements.

Source: Claims Journal, "Federal Safety Rules Should Extend to Railroad Track Workers", Jim Fitzgerald, September 26, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Awards & Professional Memberships:
  • Super Lawyers
  • Distinguished AV LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • Avvo Clients Choice