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Railroad and Train Accidents

St. Louis Railroad Occupational Exposure Lawyers

What You Need to Know About Railroad Occupational Exposure

One reason railroad work is particularly dangerous is because of the dangerous toxins to which railroad employees are commonly exposed. Occupational exposure injuries can occur suddenly during a railroad work accident or over a prolonged period of exposure to a specific toxin. Railroad employees who are suffering from internal injuries or illnesses would be well advised to first seek medical attention, and then seek guidance from a skilled Missouri railroad worker injury attorney.

Common Hazardous Materials and Toxins

There are many dangerous toxins on any given railroad jobsite. Common examples of dangerous toxins and the dangers they cause include:

  • Diesel fumes: Trains run on diesel fuel. The exhaust from diesel fuel contains carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, hydrocarbons and sulfur oxides. The particulate portion of diesel exhaust contains carbons and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. According to The American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the major cancer that is linked to diesel fumes. Several studies have looked for possible links between diesel exhaust and other cancers, including cancers of the larynx (voice box), stomach, and bladder. Studies have also looked for links to blood system cancers such as lymphomas and leukemia (including childhood leukemia).
  • Sand dust (silica): Silica,or sand dust, is the main component in many rocks and sand such as granite and sandstone. Railroad workers on the front lines of building new tracks and carving into the ground and mountainsides may be exposed to these dangerous particles. Exposure to silica over a prolonged period of time can put a worker at risk for lung cancer. In fact, crystalline silica dust is considered a Group 1 human carcinogen. Unfortunately, this devastating medical condition can develop years after a railroad worker retires.
  • Welding fumes: According to The Occupational Health and Safety Administration, exposure to welding fumes from mild steel is associated with the development of a benign pneumoconiosis known as arc welder’s siderosis. Welding fumes can also cause respiratory impairment, metal fume fever, and infertility issues for men.
  • Asbestos: Workers who are in old buildings may be exposed to asbestos particles. This is common among railroad employees because many stations and railroad workplaces were built in the early 1900s. Prolonged exposure to asbestos has caused tumors in animals and mesothelioma in humans. In fact, the majority of individuals with mesothelioma have worked at jobsites with asbestos.

Rights of Missouri Railroad Employees

Congress enacted the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) to allow railroad workers to pursue financial compensation from their employers if their employer’s negligence contributed to the injury. It can be a challenge to prove that an injury or illness was caused by toxic exposure at a workplace.

Our St. Louis workers compensation lawyers have years of experience handling injury accident claims. We can review your case and help you better understand your legal rights and options. Call us today at (314) 322-8515 to schedule your free, comprehensive, confidential consultation.

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