Railroads have heavily influenced the history of the United States and continue to impact the lives of Americans daily. Trains carry many goods critical to sustaining current ways of life — fuel, food, paper, concrete to build roads, lumber to build homes. It's easy to forget the importance of railroads in today's world. What keeps the railroads on track are the rail workers.
Rail track workers lay and repair tracks for railways, tramways, quarries, and mines. In addition, they install and repair signals and other equipment.
You can work as a railway track worker without formal qualifications. However, there will be some on-the-job training.
Some tasks for railway track workers include:
- Spreading and tamping ballast to provide a firm foundation for sleepers.
- Cutting rails to length and grinding worn and rough rail ends.
- Placing sleepers across roadbeds and positioning and fastening rails on sleepers.
- Drilling bolt holes and bolting and welding rail sections.
- Removing and replacing worn and damaged rails, sleepers, and switches.
- Cleaning and lubricating switches.
- Examining track, lubricating wheel bearings on rolling stock, and maintaining switch signal lamps.
- Installing and repairing signals and other equipment.
- May assist with the righting of derailed rolling stock.
Railways have traditionally been a relatively high-risk industry for rail workers regarding injuries and fatalities. Track workers are especially vulnerable due to their exposure to moving trains and high voltage electricity, the use of heavy equipment, exposure to poor environmental conditions, and frequent need for working in anti-social hours.
Rail worker's hazards include:
- Exposure to toxic chemicals.
- The danger of slips, trips, and falls accidents.
- Risk of working around high-voltage electricity and moving trains.
- Injuries from moving trails.
Rail Workers must wear standard protective safety equipment during their job. It's essential to be mindful of safety and the hazards of the job. The equipment rail workers need to wear is a hard hat, a hard hat light such as a Halo SL, safety shoes, glasses, gloves, high visibility clothing, and sometimes life jackets.
Our mission is to help these workers in their high-risk, low-light environments to ensure their safety, so they can go home when the job is done. Adding a Halo SL to a rail worker's hard hat is a no-brainer and helps ensure the wearer's safety.