From 2003 to 2011, there were an average of 120 construction workers who died as a result of involvement in a road construction accident. Road construction projects place workers at a great risk for suffering from severe injuries. Workers’ injuries can be caused by falling objects, exposure to harmful substances and even collisions involving distracted drivers.
Common Accidents Involving Construction Workers
According to a 2011 report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common way in which workers were injured arose from pedestrian accidents. In 2011, 46 construction workers died as a result of being hit by vehicles in a roadway. A majority of these deaths were also caused when workers were struck in an area specifically designated as a work zone. A total of 38 workers died as a result of being struck in an area designated as a work zone.
Improving Workplace Safety
The CDC provides guidelines that employers can follow to improve workplace safety. To help control the flow of traffic, the CDC recommends that construction sites maintain a traffic control supervisor who has knowledge about traffic control principles. This individual should also be familiar with maintenance of a safety zone setup, and he or she should record all changes that are made to the zone setup through a written record.
For night-work projects, a supervisor can also add low-level transitional lighting to a work zone. This will provide night drivers with a warning about an upcoming work zone, and they will exert more caution in driving past a work zone at night.
Providing additional measures may also help to decrease the number of worker fatalities that are caused every year in roadside construction projects. These additional measures may include the installation of temporary traffic barriers. If it is not feasible to install temporary traffic barriers on a construction site, then a supervisor may consider using channelizing devices to control the flow of traffic. Traffic cones can be used to signal to drivers on the road that a certain area is designated for construction workers. Drivers should have plenty of warning about upcoming construction sites so that they can adjust their driving speed as necessary.
Workers Can Seek Legal Help
Those construction workers who have already been injured in a road construction project can seek legal help. Family members who have lost loved ones due to a road construction accident may also have legal recourse. An attorney can help construction workers and their family members in the process of filing a worker’s compensation claim. A lawyer can also advise construction workers and family members of their legal rights.