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The dangers of fatigued railroad workers

Extreme fatigue among railroad workers is a well-documented epidemic in the United States. Take, for instance, this post on NTSB written by a former railroad worker who is now a supervisor of railroad accident investigators.

The writer details multiple medical issues, as well as railway accidents, all of which are attributed to the high stress and long work hours with limited sleep often expected in these positions. She claims it was not unusual for her to work 80 hours per week. In addition, chronic fatigue took such a mental and physical toll on her body that she began to make dangerous mistakes. Her health declined to such a point that the state in which she worked revoked her driver's license based on the findings of her doctor that her body was fatigued to such a dangerous level.

This worker approached the subject with her bosses on numerous occasions, only to have them remain unaddressed. She was still expected to perform her job at a highly functioning level. Ultimately, she left the job citing not only her own health, but safety of the work crews as reasons for resignation.

Far too many railroad accidents across the nation have occurred over the years due to the inability of operators to stay awake. Vastly rotating schedules and long shifts leave workers too tired to maintain focus and concentration. Any worker who has been required to work under these conditions, and has suffered injury in either a railway accident, or otherwise suffered major health problems, can benefit from consulting with an attorney. He or she can assist in determining if any railroad regulations were violated as well as if the worker is entitled to both current and ongoing compensation for injuries.

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