Dangers faced by workers in road work zones

Road construction workers face numerous dangers on the job. Some of these include being struck by traffic or equipment.

In a large and heavily populated state like California, it is not unusual to see road construction crews working day and night throughout the year. Most people might not realize the extreme dangers that road construction workers are exposed to every day on the job. Road workers can face serious workplace accidents at any time, whether they are performing minor maintenance work or involved in major highway reconstruction jobs.

Common dangers in work zones

Each year, reports the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, almost 100 workers lose their lives and over 20,000 are injured in road work zones. EHS Today reports that about half of these injuries include traffic-related incidents, such as road construction crashes with other drivers on the highway. The rest involve other types of accidents, including the following:

• Work zone construction vehicles striking pedestrian workers

• Falling or slipping

• Being struck by equipment or other objects

• Overexertion or heat stroke

Representatives who work with highway construction workers have reported some of the dangers regularly faced in work zones. In addition to accidentally being backed over by dump trucks or other equipment, construction truck drivers may be involved in a collision with other construction vehicles. Workers may be struck by oncoming cars as they leave their vehicles in the emergency lane, since this area is only feet from high-speed traffic. Maintenance workers who are filling potholes, repairing signs or cleaning up debris may particularly be in danger, since they often do not have the protection of concrete barriers. Drivers may not slow down for these workers if work zone signs are not put up.

Construction workers injured in Folsom after equipment falls

A recent accident in Folsom demonstrated just how sudden and grave a work zone accident may be. The Orange County Register reported that last October, moving equipment lowering a new highway section suddenly dropped the concrete by about 18 inches, which struck wooden support beams that in turn hit workers nearby. Out of the nine workers injured, three received critical wounds. The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the employer and other agencies began investigations to determine the cause of the accident.

It comes as no surprise to learn that construction accidents can result in some of the most devastating injuries ever seen, which may cause lifelong disabilities and further impact families. Workers' compensation laws serve to compensate victims for a workplace injury. In some cases, complications with a claim may require the help of a workers' compensation attorney in Folsom.