Americans depend on railroads to transport raw materials, cargo, and people every day. Railroads require many kinds of railroad workers to keep operating, but these railroad workers are exposed to hazards unique to the railroad industry every day. A railroad lead exposure lawyer may be able to help railroad workers who have suffered injuries from hazardous chemicals and substances. If railroad employers are negligent in subjecting their workers to lead exposure, they may be liable for the costs of the injuries that result. Injury victims may be able to seek damages in the form of medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Enlisting the help of a knowledgeable railroad injury lawyer can be crucial in getting the damages that you deserve in this situation.
How Do Railroad Employees Get Exposed To Lead?
Railroad workers can encounter lead in various aspects of their jobs. For instance, lead paint, although now outlawed, still exists on many bridges, structures, and equipment used in the railway industry. Welders also may encounter poisonous lead when they weld together metal locomotive or train car parts.
Any disturbances to or removal of lead paint can cause lead particles to become airborne and rub off on the hands of workers. When this situation occurs, workers can breathe in and ingest lead, as well as transfer lead dust from their hands to their mouths by smoking, eating, or drinking. The smaller the lead particles are, the easier it is for workers to absorb it into their lungs and bloodstream.
Even worse, when railroad workers get lead dust on their hands, equipment, and clothes, they can bring it home and put their families at risk. If workers do not shower and remove all clothing and tools before going home, they especially place children and pregnant women at risk. As a result, taking significant precautions to avoid passing the lead exposure on to others is highly advisable.
What Are Some Of The Health Risks of Lead Exposure?
In the short-term, railroad lead exposure can cause flu-like symptoms, including stomach cramps, fatigue, headache, and muscle or joint pain. If workers can identify and eliminate lead exposure, these effects may be reversible.
Over the long-term, constant exposure can lead to these and other severe medical conditions such as nerve disorders and brain damage, kidney damage, high blood pressure, as well as congenital disabilities and reproductive problems.
When workers develop any of these medical conditions due to prolonged lead exposure, they may be entitled to compensation from their employers. Depending on the situation, if their employers were negligent or careless in unnecessarily exposing them to lead, injured employees may have a valid cause of action. A diligent railroad lead poisoning attorney can help determine whether injury victims have the legal grounds to bring a claim for damages against their employers.
Negligence and FELA Claims for Railroad Workers
The exclusive remedy for on-the-job injuries and illnesses for railroad workers lies in a federal statute called the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). These workers are not eligible for state worker’s compensation benefits but instead must file claims under FELA. Unlike with the no-fault worker’s compensation system, injury victims must prove that their employers were negligent in causing their workplace injuries to claim benefits.
Employers could be negligent in exposing railroad workers to lead in various ways. Some of these ways may include:
- Failing to provide workers with adequate safety gear to prevent exposure
- Forcing workers to be exposed to lead paint in confined spaces without proper ventilation
- Failing to establish and implement safety protocols designed to minimize lead exposure
A finding of negligence can lead to a recovery of damages for injured or ill workers. Damages may provide them with much-needed medical care and income while they are unable to work.
Schedule a Consultation with a Railroad Lead Exposure Attorney Today
If you believe that you suffered exposure to lead while working for a railroad, you likely should see your doctor for an examination and blood testing. Once your doctor has confirmed the presence of lead, you may want to see a railroad lead exposure lawyer for an evaluation of your claim. Taking prompt action to get a medical diagnosis and initiate a claim for damages under FELA likely can help the process go more smoothly.
The aftermath of a severe work-related illness or injury can be devastating. By fighting for the benefits you deserve, you may be able to place yourself and your family in a better financial position. Call today to learn about your legal rights and options.