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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has ordered Union Pacific Railroad to pay an injured worker $100,000 in compensatory and punitive damages for retaliating after he reported he was injured while lifting materials and equipment.
The principal operating unit of Omaha, Nebraska-based Union Pacific Corp. initially accused the unidentified employee of being the cause of his own injuries in 2011 in Roseville, California, for not using proper ergonomic and safety measures, and suspended him for five days.
It later cleared his record and paid him for the days, OSHA said in April.
The case “follows a pattern of behavior by Union Pacific toward its injured employees” of retaliating “repeatedly” against workers who report job-related injuries, OSHA said in a statement. The railroad has faced more than 200 whistleblower complaints since 2001, it said.
Union Pacific could not be reached for comment.
Federal training requirements being developed for entry-level commercial vehicle jobs could help improve safety among inexperienced drivers, but it also could make it more difficult for trucking firms to recruit new hires during a nationwide truck driver shortage.