Railroads are crucial to the American economy, yet railroad workers labor in some of the most hazardous working conditions of all industries. Railroad workers often suffer on-the-job injuries or contract occupational diseases from their exposure to dangerous substances such as lead. A New York railroad lead exposure lawyer can be instrumental in helping injured workers recover compensation from negligent employers who failed to keep them safe. The Federal Employers’ Liability Act or FELA provides a means of relief for injured railroad workers whose employers have been negligent in providing them with a safe workplace. However, pursuing compensation under FELA can be a highly complex endeavor. An experienced new york railroad injury lawyer can be vital to your ability to bring a valid FELA claim against your employer.
How Is Lead Exposure Dangerous to Railroad Workers?
Lead is a dangerous substance that still threatens railroad workers in many ways. Although the federal government has long outlawed the use of lead paint, the paint remains on bridges, structures, and equipment that railroad workers use. Furthermore, railroad workers who weld metal parts for railcars and locomotives may encounter lead during the welding process.
Removal of lead paint or any disturbance to lead surfaces can make lead particles rub off on hands and become airborne. As a result, workers may breathe in lead particles and ingest them when they eat, drink, smoke, or wipe their mouths after handling materials containing lead. The more microscopic the lead particles, the more susceptible workers are to lead poisoning through inhalation and ingestion.
What Type of Injuries Result from Lead Exposure?
Lead exposure can result in both short-term and long-term medical problems. Initial exposure to lead can cause symptoms that resemble the flu, such as fatigue, headache, and joint pain. These symptoms are mostly reversible.
Long-term exposure to lead is more likely to occur in the case of railroad workers. When these workers are regularly exposed to lead, they can suffer irreversible damage that can lead to significant permanent impairments. Various medical conditions can develop from long-term lead exposure, including nervous system disorders, neurological damage, and kidney damage.
Prolonged lead exposure also can lead to high blood pressure, reproductive problems, and congenital disabilities. When railroad employers unnecessarily and repeatedly expose employees to lead, they may be liable for the damages to workers that result from this dangerous exposure. A railroad lead exposure lawyer in New York may be able to assist workers who have suffered impairments due to lead exposure while working in the railroad industry.
FELA Claims and Lead Exposure
Railroad workers injured by lead exposure may have legal recourse against their employers through a FELA claim. Instead of seeking worker’s compensation like other injured workers, railroad workers must seek relief under FELA. To recover damages under FELA, however, workers must be able to provide evidence that the negligence of their employers led to their injuries.
Lead exposure may be attributable to railroad companies in various ways. Some of the types of negligence that workers may be able to prove in cases involving lead exposure include:
- Failure to properly train workers to handle lead paint
- Failure to provide appropriate ventilation for confined spaces in which lead might be present, or welding occurs
- Failure to provide and require safety gear when working with or around lead paint sources
If the negligence of employers led to injuries to railroad workers, they might be liable for the costs of those injuries under FELA. With the help of a railroad lead exposure attorney in New York, they may be able to recover the benefits that they need and deserve after suffering from lead exposure on the job.
Contact a New York Railroad Lead Exposure Attorney for Help
Railroad workers will be unable to access compensation under FELA unless they can provide adequate evidence of negligence on the part of their employers. Since big railroad companies are likely to fight back vociferously against FELA claims, injured workers may benefit from representation by a New York railroad lead exposure lawyer.
By enlisting the assistance of legal counsel, you may be in a better position to pursue compensation for your injuries resulting from lead exposure. These benefits may enable you to get the medical care that you need and provide you with financial support if you are unable to work. Call today to schedule a consultation.