Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler

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Transportation workers face serious risks on the job

There are certain industries that come with more serious risks of injuries than other industries. For instance, if you work in public transportation in North Carolina, then you likely spend much more time in vehicles than other people, which can increase your chances of getting injured in an auto accident.

Unfortunately, these types of accidents can and do cause devastating injuries for workers, so it can be crucial that employers and employees take several precautions when it comes to preventing accidents. If an accident does occur, a thorough investigation should be conducted in order to identify the cause, which will hopefully result in measures that can prevent similar situations from occurring in the future.

These are the steps currently being taken after a recent train accident resulted in the serious injuries of a transit worker.

Early reports from the National Transportation Safety Board have determined that a combination of human error and high speeds were to blame for an accident that resulted in eight fatalities and 200 injuries on the Amtrak train.

Investigators believe that the engineer in control of the train lost track of where he was when the train entered a curve too fast. Instead of traveling at 50 mph, the train was moving at more than 100 mph. Investigators believe the engineer thought he was on a different part of the route.

His spatial awareness was compromised, investigators say, by the chatter on the radio from other trains. Further, the train was not properly equipped with a device that would have automatically slowed it down.

This tragic incident is certainly troubling for everyone involved in or affected by it. And while the results of the accident should not be marginalized, it is also important to understand that there are risks that come with the transportation industry. Minimizing these risks by providing workers with the tools they need to avoid accidents should be a top priority. If this does not happen, the consequences can be devastating.

Workers in the transportation industry must understand that they, like other workers, should be able to expect that they will be safe on the job. If an accident does occur there are rights and protections in place to help an injured worker get the medical and financial help they need.

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