Railroad workers are constantly in hazardous places and situation when dealing with various types of high powered machinery on a daily basis. These dangers were found to be true earlier this summer when two young railroad workers, 20 and 25 years old respectively, were fatally struck by a train while they were inspecting their own freight train.
To combat the dangerous daily situations that railroad workers must face there have been established safety procedures in place. Although this month CSX CEO Hunter Harrison has taken away some of these safety procedures, leading to an increase in the number of risky situations that current railroad workers may now find themselves in. These changes in safety policies are now instituted company-wide in efforts to speed up productivity, but may leave railroad workers vulnerable to injury.
One of the safety procedure to be thrown out is the longstanding “Three Step Protections.” The CSX online railroad dictionary defines this as, “Additional protection that is provided prior to employees fouling equipment. This procedure will require the locomotive engineer to apply the train brakes, place the reverser in neutral position, and open generator field switch.” Early reactions to this abrupt change in policy explain that without the “Three Step Protections” in place the hazard of more serious or life-threatening injuries are now present.
Also, two every day safety procedures have been changed. First, the ban of employees getting on and off of moving machines and equipment has been lifted. As well as safety meetings that took place at the start of each shift have been stopped. Once again, by removing these safety procedure and meetings the railroad employees may now find themselves in unsafe and unfamiliar situations.
CSX has also begun to take away company provided safety equipment. Employees will no longer be provided with company provided boots or brake sticks any longer. Brake sticks were used by railroad workers to assist in turning heavy brake wheels of freight train cars. Now both of these company provided protections are gone. Although some railroad workers and those around the railroad may have thought that the past safety procedures were excessive, with the elimination of these highlighted safety protections railroad workers may be in danger on a daily basis.
If you or a loved one has experienced injury while working as a railroad employee please contact the Naumes Law Group at 616-227-8444 or via our web page at www.naumeslaw.com for a free consultation.