What you see here is actually very safe and the correct way to do this. This is the Herzog Car Topper System. I learned about them when they were working on a site I was on. Link to the Herzog Car Topper System here:
Herzog has patented this technology. You can not rent one of these, you can't even buy one. When you need this service, you hire Herzog and they send a Cartopper and an operator. The benefits are that you get someone trained correctly in its use and safety (remember that you also have to do site safety training with your subcontractors too).
This is a smart move on Herzog's part to prevent over-regulation or even banning of the Cartopper. If just anyone could rent or buy them then the number of accidents would increase. When accidents increase, OSHA steps in and begins regulation. This way, Herzog ensures that they "fly under the radar" of lawmakers.
You also get a fixed capacity. That is they provide the amount of material that they can handle. You know how much material that you have to move, given the rate, you know how long it will take and how much it will cost. Here are the rates from Herzog's site:
|1/3 Track Mile/Hour|
If you look at the bucket, behind the front wheels, and on the outriggers, you will notice special clamps/skids that help the backhoe move along the rail cars. Here is a video of the Cartopper being unloaded: