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Margaret Embry
Margaret Embry
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Railroad Worker Injury and Illness Statistics and Prevention

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Railroad workers frequently encounter dangers on the job. The Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration is a great resource for railroad workers and those interested in finding injury and illness statistics as related to railroad workers, as well as rail safety information and new legislation.

The Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Safety Analysis has compiled data from 2006 to February 2009 to show types and number of injuries and illnesses encountered by railroad workers. According to this data, there have been a total of 761 cases of employee occupational illness since 2006. The majority of these cases (422) are related to climatic condition injuries, such as heat exposure. Repetitive motion (work processes and tools), overexertion, highway-rail collision, exposure to fumes, aggravated pre-existing conditions, bodily function/sudden movement (sneezing, etc.), and exposure to poisonous plants are also among the top injuries and illnesses reported. There are several more types of injuries and illnesses with only one or two cases reported.

Within the Federal Railroad Administration is the Risk Reduction Program Division (RRP) which

assists the rail industry in establishing voluntary programs that identify and address risk and that include measurable goals and corrective action processes.

The RRP’s main objective is to improve safety and build strong safety cultures, by developing innovative methods, processes, and technologies to identify and correct safety risk factors using “upstream” predictive data. It is the hope of this program to reduce the number of employee occupational injuries and illnesses.