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Know your rights when injured
Posted By ted On May 31, 2009 @ 2:20 pm In Amtrak/Commuter,News,Washington | No Comments
WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration has issued an interpretation of its regulations on employer harassment and intimidation of injured employees — welcome pointers to help rail workers, injured on the job, know their rights.
The interpretation focuses on situations where a carrier supervisor or other rail official accompanies an injured employee into an examination room. Specifically, the FRA has defined what actions by a carrier official constitutes harassment or intimidation calculated to discourage or prevent the reporting of an accident, incident, injury or illness.
Said the FRA:
“49 CFR Pat 225 [of its safety regulations require] each railroad to adopt and comply with a written Internal Control Plan addressing the railroad’s policies and procedures regarding accident/incident reporting.
“[The regulation] further requires that such Internal Control Plans include, at a minimum, a policy statement declaring the railroad’s commitment … to the principle, in absolute terms, that harassment or intimidation of any person that is calculated to discourage or prevent such person from receiving proper medical treatment or from reporting such accident, incident, injury or illness will not be permitted or tolerated.
“[M]any railroad employees fail to disclose their injuries to the railroad or fail to accept reportable treatment from a physician because they wish to avoid potential harassment from management or possible discipline that is sometimes associated with the reporting of such injuries.
“[S]upervisory personnel and mid level managers in some instances are urged to engage in practices which may undermine or circumvent the reporting of injuries and illnesses.
“FRA is aware of incidents in which a supervisor or other railroad official has accompanied an injured employee into an examination room, or other room in which the injured employee received medical treatment.
“Although concerns have been expressed as to the need for a railroad to determine the extent of an employee’s injuries, FRA does not believe that such concerns outweigh the potential pitfalls and problems associated with the practice of having supervisors accompany injured employees while they receive care from their physicians.
“Moreover, physicians are in the best position to evaluate the health of injured employees and the presence of a supervisor during such examinations would not, in most cases, add any value to the treatment of an employee and would, in general, be a distraction to both the employee and the physician.”
Thus, said the FRA in its interpretation of its regulations:
“Harassment and intimidation occur in violation of Section 225.33(a)(1) when a railroad supervisor accompanies an injured employee into an examination room, unless one or more [exceptions occur].”
The exceptions, said FRA, occur in “limited circumstances in which it is appropriate, and indeed preferable, for a supervisor to accompany an injured employee into an examination room … Consequently, FRA recognizes the following limited exceptions:
Also, be reminded that the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 provided for the following:
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