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Understanding FELA and BIA

It is the responsibility of an employer to provide a reasonable work environment that is safe and free from harm, as stated by the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). Court decisions interpreting FELA have held that the railroads owe a duty to provide reasonably safe and suitable tools, machinery, and appliances with which to work; to regulate and monitor the performance of work to ensure safety precautions are practiced; and provide notice of potentially hazardous or dangerous situations and conditions. In 1991, the Boiler Inspection Act (BIA) (also known as the Locomotive Inspection Act) was enacted. The railroad cannot escape the statute that applies to employees of the railroad who work in the operating department or are locomotive engineers. The statute required a railroad carrier to abide by requirements or face an imposed absolute duty that can not be escaped. The Act "imposes upon the carrier an absolute and continuing duty to maintain the locomotive and all parts and appurtenances thereof, in proper condition, and safe to operate.

without unnecessary peril to life or limb". The potential for the individual that had potentially contributory negligence can not be used as a defense or as an issue if the defendant is guilty of violating the statute, according to the BIA. It can be argued that cases of diesel exhaust exposure to railroad workers that the defendant railroad violated one or both of these Acts by failing to have the engine compartment windows and doors properly sealed so as to properly prevent the seepage of diesel exhaust fumes into the cab, or failing to install respirators, ventilators or properly working safety masks on units so as to protect the employees against continuous diesel exhaust exposure.

Additionally, it can be argued that a railroad in violation may have not provided enough training to workers as to the proper procedures when exposed to diesel exhaust or that the railroad is negligent in having a safety plan in place. Statute of Limitations on FELA Actions for Diesel Exhaust Exposure The statute of limitations on FELA cases is three years from the first date that the injured employee either actually knew of an injury or a potential injury, or should have known of the injury. There have been cases where the employee knew or had some reason to know that they had a problem or which they or their doctor believed was caused by their work conditions.

However, they reluctantly explained it to others and did not notify the railroad. However, if the injured employee did not immediately give notice of the injury to the railroad, the railroad may be protected from litigation and additional legal action. Individuals who have previously suffered from diesel exhaust exposure, it is advisable to contact an attorney for development of a diesel exhaust exposure lawsuit.

Learn more about diesel exhaust risks and the latest news results by visiting http://diesel.legalview.com/. Use LegalView's other practice areas for information on topics such as the Chantix recall or the latest on the condition caused by birth canal complications, Erb's Palsy, which can be found at http://erbs-palsy.legalview.com/.

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