people working on railroad tracks

Railroad work is inherently dangerous. However, these risks can increase tenfold when an employee shows up for work under the influence of alcohol. Unfortunately, this can lead to the intoxicated employee making an error or decision that puts the health, safety, and lives of others at risk. If you have been injured by an intoxicated co-worker, you may not know how to proceed or who can face liability. Luckily, the following blog can assist you with these matters. Additionally, you’ll want to connect with a FELA lawyer to discuss your legal options.

How Does Impairment Affect Safety?

It’s no secret that alcohol can inhibit your physical and cognitive abilities. As such, when a worker is under the influence, their decision-making and reaction time can be severely affected by the depressant in their system. Additionally, if an employee is under the influence, they may be late to work or take longer breaks, which can put strain on other employees who need to take on additional responsibilities to cover for their co-worker.

The Federal Railroad Administration has strict rules regarding drug and alcohol testing for railroad employees. Generally, if employees have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.02% and 0.039%, they must be relieved of their duties for eight hours. If their BAC is over 0.04%, they will be suspended from service until they complete the federal return to duty provisions. This is because employees going to work with a BAC of 0.04% or higher are in direct violation of federal laws.

What Must I Do if Injured Because of an Intoxicated Co-Worker?

If injured because of an employee under the influence, understanding how to proceed is critical. Generally, the first thing you’ll want to do is report the accident to your supervisor. You should ensure that it is noted that you believe the employee responsible for your injury was under the influence, but be sure not to take any responsibility for the accident.

Next, you’ll want to seek medical treatment for any injuries you may have sustained. Even if you do not think your injuries are severe, establishing medical treatment is crucial when seeking compensation.

If possible, you should take photos and videos of the accident scene to help capture evidence of the accident.

Finally, you’ll want to connect with an experienced FELA lawyer from Doran & Murphy as soon as possible. Unfortunately, navigating a Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) claim on your own can be complicated.

Additionally, failure to take the necessary steps can result in you losing your claim or receiving less compensation than you are entitled to. As such, our team is ready to examine the circumstances of your injury to help you fight for the funds you need. Connect with us today to learn more.