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What happens when Amtrak employees get hurt on the job?

An Amtrak train has lots of moving parts that can malfunction and injure the train attendants, conductors and engineers. Not only that, but the constant motion of wheels on rails can cause Amtrak workers to lose their balance, stumble and fall.

What happens to injured railroad workers who cannot return to their jobs? For some, one option may be to participate in the Right Careā€¦ Day One program.

The program was initiated to help train workers remain active and employed while they recover from an illness or occupational injury.

These rail workers are placed in volunteer positions with participating nonprofits in the area where the employees live and work. Here's how the program works:

When the injured worker is placed with a nonprofit agency, they still receive their regular salary from Amtrak. This allows them to remain connected with the working world and keep up their regular routines. It has proven to be helpful in staving off the depression that often accompanies a railway injury that leads to loss of work.

It also has the benenfit of reducing lost-time days by more than 50% and lowering workers' comp costs for the rail line. Also, it helps the community nonprofits continue to meet their goals by placing motivated workers within their agencies.

One study showed that the longer workers stay off their jobs after they get injured, the likelihood of their returning to those jobs decreases markedly. Only half of the workers who are off of work for more than six months ever go back to work in those positions. But for those who are out for longer than a year, just 10% return to their jobs.

Of course, these programs are not for everyone.The most seriously injured Amtrak workers may not be able to maintain any type of employment after their on-the-job injuries. Those workers may need to seek legal representation to access all of the benefits to which they are eligible.

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