Facial Injuries

Railroad workers usually are equipped with safety helmets while on the job, at least those that work in rail yards and repair shops. However with the exception of welders there are not many wearing facial protection. Injuries to the face in a railroad worksite often result from flying debris, dropped tools or inadequate protection from a heat source. Facial injuries may include:

  • Broken Nose
  • Damaged eye
  • Broken Jaw
  • Loss of teeth
  • Lacerations or contusions of the face
  • Broken cheekbone
  • Burns from steam, hot tools or chemicals

If you have a facial injury while working at your railroad job you should see a doctor immediately. Much of the facial structure and skin is relatively delicate. Immediate care could mean the difference between an injury that heals and permanent damage.

Facial Injuries and Worker Safety

Railroad yards and railroad shops not only generate a lot of dust and smoke, they generate debris as well. Chips or fragments of steel and aluminum can get knocked off the rolling stock, while in the shop grinders, sanders, welders and ironworkers can be putting fragments or tiny fibers in the air. Many of these cannot be seen with the human eye, but they can damage an eye if caught under an eyelid.

Medical Issues

Unlike most forms of physical trauma, facial injuries may also require reconstructive plastic surgery. In the most serious cases of facial railroad injuries, facial damage can require multiple plastic surgery procedures. Plastic surgery can also be a point of contention with health insurance companies. While a person with facial damage simply wants the original face back, insurance companies may see plastic surgery to accomplish this goal as unnecessary.

Compensation for Facial Injuries

Railroad workers were among the first in the nation to receive legislated rights to sue their employers for negligence. The Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) allows injured railroad workers to sue over work related injuries if they can prove negligence on the part of the employer.

If you are a railroad worker and suffer a facial injury on the job you should see a physician immediately. Collect the names of any witnesses and file a report with the railroad – and then seek out a FELA attorney. You may be eligible to recover compensation for your injury by filing a FELA lawsuit.

At Gordon & Elias, L.L.P. we are a law firm that practices FELA railroad injury law nationwide. It is not designated by any specific Union and that is just fine with them. Their goal is to provide excellent representation; only utilize Board Certified Physicians in the medical treatment of their clients; get statements from witnesses and photographs as soon as hired; advance funds, interest free and where ethically permitted, to their clients so they can pay their bills while off of work; and, most importantly, treat their clients like family and with the respect, honor and dignity that they deserve. Call 800-773-6770 to speak to a REAL FELA attorney.