Safety is a valid concern for any public transportation system – not only for its ridership, but for its employees as well. Georgia’s Department of Transportation has noted various concerns about the safe operation of the Atlanta Streetcar including inadequate worker training, maintenance problems, and accident documentation issues. The Atlanta Business Chronicle ran a story as well regarding concerns plaguing the operation and noted that its problems must be corrected. Among the concerns noted were those regarding getting power to the streetcars, problems with maintenance contracts, and not being able to maintain a level of technical expertise because of employee turnover.
The Problems With Employee Turnover
In some industries, a constant stream of new talent is seen as a benefit. Technological industries, in particular, need to have employees with new visions to keep ideas fresh and innovative. In other industries, however, there is a definite advantage in keeping employees – and their institutional knowledge about the business and its procedures and policies. When employees in this second category of industries remain on the job, they become increasingly familiar with their job duties and responsibilities. Along with that increased job knowledge and performance, often times safety practices improve as well. Conversely, when employee turnover is high, it is more likely that safety practices will not be as routine and accidents are more likely to occur.
Public Transportation and Safety
The United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) encourages public transportation employees to report their employers’ unsafe working conditions and provides for specific protection against retaliation for reporting safety or security violations to their employers or to the government. This whistleblower protection was put into place to protect employees from being treated negatively solely because they reported unsafe working conditions or practices. In particular, employees of public transportation agencies that provide regular and continuing public transportation services such as public subway or bus systems are covered through the National Transit Systems Security Act. Separate protection is provided to employees of other types of public transportation, such as school or charter busses or sightseeing transportation, through other acts and OSHA laws. The protection available to employees who report safety issues and concerns about their employer is comprehensive and includes protection against numerous types of retaliation including termination, blacklisting, demotion, or other actions that involve negative treatment with respect to pay, work hours, or benefits. The bottom line is that employees are entitled to a safe place to work and safe conditions to work in and, if those safe places or conditions are not provided, they are protected from retaliation when they report the employer for not meeting its obligation to provide them.
The Bader Law Firm, LLC Is Here To Help
When workplace accidents occur, you need to be able to turn to someone you can trust for accurate and reliable information. The attorneys at Bader Law Firm, LLC work exclusively with workers’ compensation issues and are ready to help you learn your rights if you have been hurt on the job. Contact our office today online or by calling us directly to schedule your free consultation. Learn how to take control of your situation and get the relief you are entitled to.