Trains are massive vehicles that take trained professionals to operate. Moreover, it takes a good deal of skill and knowledge to maintain rail lines. Engineers and railroad workers in Minnesota are often pushed to make sure that trains arrive at their destination on time if not earlier. This can cause some workers to engage in risky behaviors such as using drugs while on the job. According to one source, almost eight percent of employees involved in railroad accidents in 2016 had various illicit substances in their system, such as morphine, OxyContin, cocaine and marijuana, among others.
The United States Congress enacted the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) in 1908, and FELA is still going strong today. FELA protects railroad workers for occupational hazards related to the rail industry. At the turn of the last century, workers dying in railroad-related accidents was a common occurrence, so the Act extended an opportunity for victims or their survivors to sue for compensation.
Our means of communication have come a long way over the past few decades. Landlines are being replaced by cell phones, and whether it is through a phone call, an email or a text message the variety of ways we now have to communicate with one another is quite astounding. These days, sending a text message has become just another everyday activity performed by individuals many times a day across Minnesota. However, there is one instance in which it is just about never a good idea to send or receive a text message: while driving.
Winter is just around the corner in Minneapolis, and while some may be looking forward to skiing, ice fishing, the winter holidays or simply a cozy sweater and a mug of hot chocolate in front of the fireplace, it is important not to underestimate the dangers the season brings. Icy conditions are not just a danger to drivers during snowy weather. Outdoor slip-and-fall accidents can happen to just about anyone.
Railroad workers are an essential component in keeping Minnesota railroads running at optimum efficiency. No one can underestimate the importance of railroads, not just for transporting people but for interstate commerce as well. However, there is no denying that railroad workers face many dangers while on the job.