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  • Federal Railroad Administration Delays Safety Rule

    Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers weigh in on a delay in safety rules which could lead to unsafe conditions for commuters and potential train accidents. The Federal Railroad Administration, or FRA, decided to give railroad contractors, rail industry employers, and subcontractors an extra year to submit training programs for employees who provide “safety-related services.”  This means that railroad employers will not have to document that they have these programs in place until January of 2020. This could leave not only thousands of employees at risk for certain workplace illnesses and injuries, but also millions of railroad commuters who benefit from safety related services.

    What are “Safety-Related Services” and “Safety-Related Employees”?

    According to the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, safety-related railroad employees can be employed as any of the following:

    • Hazmat employees (who handle hazardous chemicals and/or materials);
    • Employees who maintain a variety of railroad safety standards;
    • Individuals who inspect, repair, and/or maintain locomotives, passenger cars and freight cars, and:
    • Any employee who “directly affects safety”, which is the majority of railroad workers

    One of the main goals for having training programs for workers who perform safety-related railroad services is to make sure that the employees, the public, and communities with railroads are all kept as safe as possible. Reviewing existing safety standards and requiring railway employers to comply with federal health and safety standards are two effective ways to prioritize railroad safety.

    Train Accidents

    The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) oversees an array of transportation safety issues nationwide. The agency reported more than 750 rail-related fatalities in 2017 – that’s more than two-times the number of deaths that occur every year from plane accidents. Some years, nearly 1,000 Americans die in railroad-related accidents. When a dangerous or deadly train accident occurs, the NTSB investigates it. To read more from the NTSB on train accidents or to learn about current or past safety and accident investigations, you can visit: https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Pages/railroad.aspx.

    There are many different kinds of train accidents, like:

    • Train derailments;
    • Railroad crossing accidents, and:
    • Train and vehicle collisions

    Lots of train accidents happen because of employee negligence, but plenty of others occur as a result of safety errors, unsafe weather conditions, failure to communicate, or defective railroads. No matter the reason, train accidents can result in hundreds of people experiencing catastrophic and fatal injuries.

    Do You Need a Lawyer?

    Sometimes, it can be helpful to contact a lawyer. When a person gets injured in a train accident, he or she is likely to miss time from work, accumulate expensive medical bills, and more. Filing a legal claim to seek compensation for these physical and monetary losses can help provide peace of mind during a physically difficult – and financially stressful – time. If you want to learn more about filing a claim because of injuries you sustained in a train accident, please contact our firm directly and a representative can help.

    Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Representing Injured Individuals Since 1947

    If you or a loved one was injured in a train accident, please contact our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Galfand Berger. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.