170.01.01 Safety Appliance Act--Statutory Provisions At the time of the occurrence, there was in force a federal statute known as the Safety Appliance Act. That Act imposed upon the railroad the absolute duty to have all cars which it hauls or permits to be hauled or used on its line [equipped with couplers coupling automatically by impact, and which can be uncoupled without the necessity of persons going between the ends of the cars] [equipped with efficient hand brakes] [equipped with secure and adequate grab irons or handholds at the ends and sides of each car [and on the roof at the top of the ladder on each car]]. This statute is violated when [a coupler fails to function properly while [used] [operated] in the usual and customary manner] [a coupler fails to function properly because of a defect] [hand brakes fail to perform properly while [used] [operated] in the usual and customary manner] [hand brakes fail to perform properly because of a defect] [a car does not have the required grab irons or handholds] [a car grab iron or handhold on a car is not secure or adequate for use]. The statute provides that railroads violating the Act are liable to persons covered under the Act for [injuries] [death] caused in whole or in part by such violations. The statute further provides that neither negligence on the part of the employee nor the absence of negligence on the part of the railroad is a defense to liability under this Act.