Inadequate Vehicle Maintenance Blamed for Railroad Worker Death

    Occupational Safety Expert

    This case involves a railroad worker who was killed while conducting an inspection of a number of railroad cars. The worker was operating a railcar inspection vehicle when he fell onto the tracks. The impact of the fall cracked his skull and he later died from his injuries. It was alleged that poor vehicle maintenance was to blame for the fall. An expert in railroad occupational safety was sought to inspect the site of the accident and determine the cause.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Please describe your background in the railroad industry.
    • 2. Have you ever worked with railcar inspection vehicles?

    Expert Witness Response E-125243

    I have worked for several railroads over my 41-year career with the railroad industry. I have worked as a freight car repairman and as a mechanical department laborer. I have also worked as a mechanical department instructor teaching other freight car repairman how to perform their jobs safely and properly, according to company rules and the federal regulations. I have also worked as a passenger conductor for a railroad passenger corporation. In this role, I was in charge of the safe operation of the train and the safety of all the passengers as well as the public in general. I am the founder, owner, and senior instructor of a railroad training services consulting company. The company serves the railroad industry at large as well as private companies requiring training for their employees in switching, operations, and railcar handling. I have worked with the type of equipment involved in your case during my career with the railroad. I know and understand the safety features and the safety requirements for the workers using this type of equipment.

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