In the past century, trains have become a crucial mode of transportation especially for people who want to travel from state to state. Because of this, a large number of railroad workers have been employed to build and maintain important interstate railroads for train transport. However, most of these employees are placed in dangerous environments that some of them get injured.
Fortunately, the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) was enacted in 1908 to cover railroad workers who have suffered injuries while they are on duty. However, before a railroad worker may receive compensation, he should first prove several things:
- The employer or another employee was negligent in operating equipment, devices or tools.
- The defendant's negligence has caused the worker's injuries.
- The employer has failed to place the railroad worker in a safer working location.
Under FELA, an employer who has been proven liable for his worker's injury should pay compensation. Some of the possible payments he should provide his employee include:
- His injured worker's lost wages.
- His employee's medical treatment.
- The injured employee's pain and suffering.
Employers should remember they are obliged to provide the said benefits as long as the worker has the injury. That means the employer would need to offer compensation for the worker's continuous medication, as well as provide his wages even if he does not go to work.
Because an injured worker would cause large expenses to the employer, he should take safety precautions in order to avoid personal injury accidents. Some of these tips are listed below:
- Railroad employees should work in a safe environment, and they should have tools and equipment that are also safe to use.
- Employers should conduct regular safety checkups to make sure the working environment remains safe for their employees.
- Require their workers to undergo trainings and seminars to be more skilled in performing work-related activities.
- Impose safety programs to their employees.
Any employer who wants to avoid unnecessary expenses would certainly follow these guidelines. Railroad workers are willing to do work even in risky locations just to provide income to their families. Once employers learn to recognize their employees' situation, they would eventually care for them and consider their interests.