The Federal Employers’ Liability Act places specific responsibilities on certain entities within the railroad industry for the safety of workers.
Employers have some distinct obligations under FELA. If workers can prove the employer did not uphold the responsibilities under FELA, it opens the door for them to make a claim in the event of an injury or illness.
Maintaining a safe workplace
FELA holds railroad employers accountable for establishing a safe workplace. They must proactively identify and mitigate potential hazards. To do this they should conduct regular inspections, upkeep equipment and implement effective safety protocols.
Exercising reasonable care
An employer’s negligence can lead to a claim under FELA. The law requires them to exercise reasonable care in maintaining a safe workplace. They should anticipate needs and have a system to ensure they do not overlook hazards or problem situations.
Providing training and supervision
The law mandates that employers provide comprehensive training and supervision to their workers. Employers must ensure that their employees know how to properly handle equipment, follow safety procedures and respond to emergencies. Adequate supervision is also a requirement to ensure that employees adhere to established safety guidelines. It also allows for the employer to have eyes on the workspace that can report issues before they result in accidents.
In the aftermath of an injury, FELA allows railroad workers to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering if an employer fails to uphold its responsibilities. This incentivizes employers to prioritize safety measures and invest in preventive actions to avoid potential legal consequences.