Some jobs in Pennsylvania are more hazardous than others. Railroad work has long been an occupation that carries additional dangers for employees. Most railroad workers go through additional training in order to reduce the likelihood of a workplace accident. Furthermore, the railroads will often require and supply safety gear to reduce the chances of injuries. Nonetheless, accidents can and do happen.
A Pennsylvania employee of Canadian Pacific Railway was recently sent to upstate New York to inspect a railroad bridge. During his investigation, the employee was involved in a workplace accident that resulted in his death. According to preliminary reports, the employee came in contact with a power line and was electrocuted.
Emergency crews responded and came to the the site where the worker was killed. Officials indicated that he and three others were working in a bucket truck under the elevated tracks located over Route 235. The occupational Safety and Health Administration is currently investigating this incident.
The loved ones of a railroad worker killed on the job can file a Federal Employers Liability Act claim on his behalf. FELA is a federal law specifically enacted to compensate railroad workers and their families in cases of injury or death. It is different from state workers' compensation systems in a number of ways. One way it differs is that more benefits are generally available under the FELA. Another difference is that in an FELA case the claimant must prove the railroad was at least partially at fault; however, the claimant can recover as long as the railroad was one percent at fault or more.
Railroad workers who suffer injuries from a workplace accident and the families of those who are killed on the job can benefit from an FELA claim much the same that workers in most other professions can benefit from the state workers' compensation system. An attorney can help the victim or family evaluate a claim and prepare the case.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Railway worker from Pa. killed in NY accident," Aug. 27, 2013