I am often asked how dangerous the railroads are. With fewer workers and streamlined safety systems surely the railroads are safer than in previous years. While it’s true that the railroads are safer than say 30 years ago, that does not mean they are safe or that the railroads are doing all they can to protect their workers.
The Railroad Workers United (RWU) union provides details of workers who are killed on the railroad. It has recorded nine deaths in 2015 so far. The most recent death it notes was on May 25, when BNSF maintenance of way employee Tyrell Anderson was killed in a rail yard in Minneapolis. A BNSF spokesperson said that a locomotive passing on another track struck the material causing it to fall on the worker.
In April, an R.J. Corman Railroad Group employee was killed in a railroad work accident in Illinois. The 20-year-old suffered a fatal head injury while working along Canadian Pacific Railroad tracks near the village of Forreston. He was in an all-terrain vehicle near a location where other workers were using a large magnetic boom to pick up metal railroad spikes along the tracks. According to reports, the boom spun out of control, striking the four-seat vehicle, the local sheriff’s department said.
In the same month a 48-year-old worker of Texico was killed when two freight trains collided head-on about 10 miles southeast of Roswell in New Mexico. Another worker was injured.
On April 15 in Omaha, Nebraska two employees of a contract company, Nebraska Railcar Cleaning Services, hired by GE Capital Rail Services were killed in a blast while cleaning out a tanker car. The force of the exposition blew one man off a tanker car and to the ground, while the ladder shot out of the car and left another man trapped.
Also in April a CN conductor died in Saskatoon in Canada as a result of injuries he sustained from an accident when he was working at a CN rail yard while a 35-year-old man from Pine Bluff was killed when he was hit by a train while working at Evergreen Packaging. He was said to be coupling several train cars when the operator radioed to him to failed to receive a response.
April was a deadly month on the railroads. On April 1, a worker was killed when he was struck by a CSX train in the Acca rail yard in Richmond, Virginia.
On March 17, a 51-year-old worker was killed in Fairfield, California, when a taxi hired by Union Pacific Railroad to transport his crew rolled off the side of a freeway near the Interstate 680/Interstate 80 interchange, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Another worker was killed in California in February. BLET member Glenn Steele died after a Metrolink collision. He was working as a locomotive engineer when his train collided with a heavy pickup truck near Oxnard.
The fact the death toll of railroad workers has almost reached double figures in 2015 demonstrates how dangerous the railroads can still be. If you have been hurt on the railroad of if you have lost a loved one, call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 866-455-6657.