Road construction workers face serious hazards when they are doing their work. Not only do they have to deal with the issues that come with working around heavy equipment and in a construction atmosphere, they also have to deal with working in an area where motorists are driving.
As you can imagine, the accidents that might happen in a road construction zone can be very serious. There are some specific hazards that these workers must be vigilant to avoid.
Most are not fatal
Most work zone accidents aren’t fatal. In fact, less than one percent of these accidents lead to death. The vast majority of these accidents, just over 72 percent, aren’t associated with injuries at all. Catastrophic injuries account for around 2.5 percent of injuries. Around nine percent involve noticeable non-incapacitating injuries, and the remaining 15.4 percent have possible injuries.
Types of accidents
While it might seem like cars driving through the work zone would be the most dangerous aspect of the job, that isn’t the type of accident that occurs the most in work zones. When it comes to fatalities, runovers and backovers are the primary type of accident. In this category, more than half of the incidents were associated with a construction vehicle and not with a vehicles just passing through the work zone. Vehicle collisions, being caught between objects and being struck by objects are other types of accidents.
Work zone car crash trends
Overall, rear-end crashes are the most common type of car crash in work zones. This is true during day shifts and night shifts when there is active work going on. The incidence of these crashes is slightly higher when there are lane closures. Fixed object collisions and sideswipes are also possible.
Other causes of injuries in road construction work zones
Besides vehicle collisions, road construction workers can suffer injuries in a host of other ways. Slips, trips and falls are possible. Exposure to hazardous substances and overexhaustion are both possible. Proper safety protocols, procedures and equipment can help to prevent these accidents. Employers should make sure that they provide employees with these safety necessities.
Construction workers who are injured at work will usually file for workers’ compensation benefits. This is especially important when the worker has to take time off work while the injury heals. Workers’ compensation coverage can help to pay for medical bills and partial wage replacement. Other benefits are also possible in some cases.