If you are a railroad employee who has suffered a cumulative trauma injury or a lifting injury from your job at a railroad, an “ergonomic study” may determine if you have a personal injury claim.  Ergonomics involves changing work tasks themselves to prevent repetitive stress injuries and cumulative trauma injuries from happening.  There are two primary ways to work with ergonomics on the job, changing the way work tasks are done and changing the actual tool or the equipment itself.

Cumulative Trauma and/or Repetitive Motion Injury

Railroaders too often deal with forceful repetitive use of their hands and other body parts.  At times the repetitive work motions can involve vibrations, awkward positioning, and extreme temperatures.  As a result of these ergonomical issues, you may have been a victim of a cumulative trauma disorder and/or a repetitive motion injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.  The signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include numbness, tingling, pain and/or loss of grip strength causing frequent dropping of things in hands, elbows or arms.  For more information from the National Institute of Health on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, please click here.

If you have repeatedly injured the same body part, subsequently returning to the same railroad job, but have now been told by your doctor that you should no longer do your railroad work, you may have a repetitive motion injury.  The two most common types of repetitive motion injuries are tendinitis and bursitis.  You will have pain which gets worse with activity and weakness or lack of endurance of that body part.

Workplaces may either take the reactive or proactive approach when applying ergonomics practices. Reactive ergonomics involves corrective action once you already have a problem.  Proactive ergonomics involves fixing potential issues before they become problems.  Potential solutions in a railroad employment context can be equipment design, task design, or environmental design, changing the devices used by railroad employees, what they do with the equipment, and the actual environment in which they work.
While preventing repetitive injuries saves the company money, a diligent Railroad Injury Lawyer will look to see if a railroad employer has taken the appropriate steps to help prevent the type of injury you have suffered.  Ergonomics can reduce employers’ costs by improving safety on the job.  A thorough nvestigation into the railroad’s knowledge is crucial to understanding the value of a railroad injury case.

Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers is a personal injury law firm in Houston, TX with a long history of representing hundreds of railroad workers in railroad injury cases.  Check out our railroad injury case results.  Our lawyers hold licenses in Texas, Minnesota, and Colorado, and have handled railroad injury and FELA cases throughout the United States.  We provide free initial confidential injury case consultations, so call us toll free at (713) 364-0723 before giving a statement to anyone with your employer or talking to a railroad claims agent.