Visitor Question

Company Not Following OSHA Regulations…

Submitted By: Jeff (Altoona, PA)

I was employed at a railroad car company in Altoona, PA. The company never followed O.S.H.A. (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) fall protection for any employee that works on top or inside of a railroad tank car and/or hopper car.

I fell 16 feet from the top of a railroad tank car and I was knocked unconscious with a fractured skull along with both an epidural and subdural hematoma. I also got a fractured right clavicle, broken ribs and fractured lower spine.

I was on workers compensation but I would like to go for more because now the railroad company has started following the safety regulation that should have been followed before my accident on 12/15/2008.

I was also told by another employee that currently if any employee is caught on a rail car without fall protection they would be fired. Before my accident the company also never followed a correct procedure for confined space entry inside of a railroad car.

How can I pursue the rail car company for more than just the small amount that workers compensation is giving me? Aren’t they liable for more since they weren’t following safety regulations? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Jeff,

Unfortunately the law in Pennsylvania since 1985 has provided that employees who are covered by workers compensation insurance and are injured on the job may not sue their employer. That was the reason workers compensation laws were created.

With workers compensation an injured person doesn’t have to prove their employer was negligent. Workers compensation laws state simply that if an employee is injured on the job he is automatically entitled to benefits including the payment of his medical bills and lost wages.

Although medical bills and a majority of the injured person’s lost wages will be paid, workers compensation laws do not allow an employee to receive, or sue for, an additional amount for pan and suffering.

At this point all you can do is attempt to secure the highest possible settlement from the workers compensation insurance company. If your case is still open you should be able to do that. Unfortunately if your case has already been settled you will not have that option.

Learn more here: Unsafe Working Conditions

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


One comment on “Company Not Following OSHA Regulations…

  1. Anonymous says:

    Fall protection is an O.S.H.A. safety regulation. If the company willfully overlooked the safety requirements and an accident that happened could have been totally avoided if only fall protection was available, all injuries never would have happened.

    The company was fined before for willfully violating O.S.H.A. safety regulations. How can workers compensation actually protect the company when a letter to the employee states the company no longer has the position where the employee works at unprotected heights?

    To me the company came right out and admitted their mistake on paper, and they are still protected? That’s not right.

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