Dangerous Jobs: CTA Workers Health & Safety at Risk

workers compensationChicago’s network of trains connects millions of workers with their jobs, and families with their homes each month. Keeping this system up and running is the responsibility of the Chicago Transit Authority and the army of workers they employ. 

It is a dangerous job which places workers health and safety at risk. Just a few weeks ago, a worker fell from a ladder within a tunnel near the North/Clybourn Station. While serious, he was fortunate his injuries were not fatal.

“Public transit workers face a variety of risks every day. They can slip from icy platforms, fall onto the electrified 3rd rail, or find themselves in the path of an oncoming train. From 2004 to 2009, 19 CTA employees lost their lives simply by doing their jobs,” remarkedChicago workers’ compensation attorney Phil Bareck.

Slip and fall accidents like the one which just occurred are a leading cause of death for American workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they cause 5% of all work related fatalities.

CTA workers are at significant risk for serious injury or death from a slip and fall accident. Maintaining the rail line puts them in close proximity to the much feared 3rd rail which carries over 600 volts of electricity. If they make contact with this, it means instant death. Just last May, a worker was killed instantly when his bucket lift contacted the electrical cables of the Brown Line.

Further, much of the platform work CTA workers conduct requires the use of high ladders or bucket lifts. Should they slip and fall from these, the risk of serious injury or death increases considerably.

“Public transit workers are at greatest risk for injury during inclement weather and in the low-light conditions present in the morning and evening hours. These incidents make it clear that CTA has a long way to go towards improving worker safety,” lamented Chicago workers’ compensation attorney Phil Bareck.