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Off the Rails: Train Operators and Substance Abuse

Dating back to the 1980s, drug and alcohol abuse by train operators has been at the center of a number of preventable train accidents. A 1987 Conrail crash put the issue in the spotlight, after an investigation revealed traces of marijuana in workers’ urine and blood samples. After speeding through three signals, the train Conrail Read More

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Looking for Answers in Commuter Rail Accidents

In response to two major rail accidents this year involving Metro-North commuter trains, federal investigators will hold hearings in October. The hearings’ purpose is to gather information about the Bridgeport, Connecticut derailment that injured 76 people and the subsequent death of a track foreman near West Haven that occurred only a week and a half Read More

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What Makes Certain Railroad Crossings More Dangerous Than Others?

With over 210,005 railroad crossings, of which close to 130,000 intersect with public roads in the 49 continental states, most drivers in the United States encounter crossings on a regular basis. While this adds up to hundreds of thousands of vehicles crossing train tracks each day, the number of fatalities and injuries has steadily declined Read More

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U.S. Citizen among Victims of Harrowing Spanish Train Accident

As the death toll from the deadly train crash in Santiago de Compostela, Spain approaches 80 people, American Myrta Fariza has been identified as the latest victim to perish as a result of this devastating accident. Fariza, who was accompanied on the train by her surviving husband, spent several days in critical condition before succumbing Read More

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Collateral Damage: Train Accidents also Traumatize Railroad Workers

While the primary victims in most railway accidents are the unsuspecting motorists and pedestrians with whom trains collide, railroad employee representatives are bringing to light the trauma and stress experienced by railroad workers involved. The experience of seeing another human being maimed or killed before their very eyes leaves many railroad workers unable to simply Read More

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Chlorine Represents a Major Safety Risk on the Rails

When many people think about hazardous materials on rail cars, their first thought involves petroleum products and the raging infernos that explode when cars carrying these materials crash. Few people realize the dangers posed by train accidents involving chlorine, a highly toxic substance that can cause severe injuries and even death with exposure. With a Read More

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Getting to the Bottom of Industrial Railroad Accidents

In light of the spate of recent high profile railway disasters in the United States and Canada, many experts are digging deeper to determine the causes of these railroad accidents. While human error plays a role in certain crashes, there are a variety of systemic issues that also affect safety. As the crude oil boom Read More

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Racing Trains at Railroad Crossings: A Recipe for Disaster

Motorists are playing a deadly game when they race across train crossings, attempting to traverse them before a rapidly approaching train arrives. While common sense dictates that this is never a good idea, every year motorists perish trying to save the few minutes they would spend waiting for trains to cross. Recent tragedy A 16-year-old Read More

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Boom Times for Railway Oil Transport

In recent years, western states have seen huge booms in oil production, creating thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in revenues. One of the primary factors contributing to the boom is oil extraction from the Bakken formation, a 200-square mile rock formation in North Dakota, which was made possible by the discovery of a Read More

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Rail Workers’ Fraudulent Disability Claims Not Taken Lightly

There are few events more tragic than sustaining a serious injury that prevents you from earning a living. The physical pain of the injury is frequently compounded by the panic that sets in once you realize the injury prevents you from performing your normal job functions. To alleviate the issues associated with this scenario, there Read More

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Am insurance bad faith verdict. A man and his wife were sitting in their parked pickup truck when they were struck and injured by a taxicab.
NPR Podcast

Federal Whistleblower Laws for Employee Protections

APR 5, 2017

originally broadcast on KALW
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