Every day road crew workers are in close proximity to moving vehicles. This puts them at a high risk of getting severely injured.
An extensive network of roads and highways connect towns and cities. Road crews and highway workers are responsible for their maintenance. Every day they work on the roads in close proximity to moving vehicles and thus face a risk of getting injured. In this post, our St. Louis worker compensation lawyers will discuss the common risks faced by highway maintenance workers or road crew.
Facts and Figures
Statistics show that in the US around 1,000 workers died on the road construction sites between 2003 and 2010. Most of them were performing their duties when the accident occurred. While 15% were passing through the area.
65% of the deaths which occurred in the road construction zones in 2013 involved construction laborers, tractor trailer truck drivers, highway maintenance workers, heavy equipment operators and supervisors. A majority of these people worked in the private sector while 10% worked for the local or state governments.
More than 65% of the roadway worker injuries occur in transportation incidents. Around 70% of them involve a pedestrian worker who is hit by an automobile. Nearly 1/3rd of these are caused by vehicles while backing up. It is noticed that large trucks are involved in 12% of the highway fatalities.
Reports show that 69 road construction workers were killed in one State alone in motor vehicle accidents in 2013. This was equal to 3% of the traffic deaths in that State. The number was higher in another State where 104 workers died in road construction zones.
Every year around 38,000 injuries occur in road construction work in the country. This implies that every 14 minutes a work zone injury takes place and over 100 workers are injured each day. Most of these accidents happen during the week in the daytime.
The government has made many efforts to reduce the occurrence of such accidents. It spends nearly $148 billion every year on highway maintenance, enhancement and construction.
Dangers Faced by Highway Maintenance Workers
It is dangerous to work in the proximity of moving vehicles. Some of the risks in the road construction zones are:
- Drivers may lose control over their vehicles – Drivers may not maintain their lanes in the construction zones. They may not negotiate turns properly or lose control over their automobiles and hit the road crew workers. This may cause serious injuries.
- Debris on the road – Vehicles make loose parts, stones, mud flaps and other objects to fly in all directions. These can hit the road crew workers. Consequently, the workers may get bruises or cuts and suffer broken bones. They may even die due to severe injuries.
- Heavy and hazardous equipment – Road work operations have to be carried out with dangerous equipment like jackhammers, bulldozers, and cranes. If the equipment is operated by an untrained worker or not handled properly it may cause a lot of harm.
Workers should be trained and taught the right methods of operating the equipment. They should use suitable safety gear while performing their tasks. Moreover, proper safety measures should be adopted.
Are you an injured Missouri road crew worker?
If you have been injured while working on a road maintenance project, you are likely entitled to workers compensation. Speak with an experienced workers comp attorney at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann to ensure your legal rights are protected right from the start of your claim. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4300 for a FREE case evaluation.