Life didn’t have to be so hard for John. The pounding his lower back absorbed after a decade as a diesel mechanic for a commuter railroad had taken its toll. He checked himself into the hospital for a three-level spinal fusion to relieve chronic pain that had become unbearable.
The suffering was unnecessary. John’s work involved bending over a locomotive engine at an awkward angle for hours at a time, performing heavy labor. But with some equipment common in other yards, he could have pulled the hood off the locomotive to work on the engine in a more comfortable position, or removed portions to work on them externally.