Those who work on roadway construction sites face dangers from moving passenger vehicles, but many accidents are caused by construction vehicles and equipment. Pennsylvania is one of the states with the most worker deaths in these types of situations, and creating and enforcing procedures for construction sites could help prevent the common causes of fatalities and injuries.
At construction work sites, employees are at risk for backover-related deaths and injuries. From these incidents and others, Pennsylvania is the state that had the fourth most employee deaths in work zones between 2003 and 2013. When vehicles were involved in roadway construction incidents where a pedestrian worker was hit, backing vehicles caused 27 of the 48 accidents.
When work zone deaths occurred in 2013, 60 percent of the fatalities happened in private sector construction. This includes civil engineering construction and specialty trade contractor projects. More than one=-quarter of the fatalities happened in work zones for the warehousing and transportation, administrative and service producing industries, and about 10 percent of fatalities were on local or state government projects. The type of employees who were killed the most in occupational fatalities at work zones in 2013 were highway maintenance workers, first-line supervisors of construction and extraction workers, construction laborers, construction equipment operators and heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers. In addition to being struck or backed over, fatalities can also be caused by falls from equipment or vehicles, overturns or when a worker is inside equipment or a vehicle.
When a construction worker is hurt because of an on the job accident, workers’ compensation may be available to help with medical bills and lost wages while the employee recovers from the injury. If someone is killed on the job, the worker’s family can also seek death benefits to help with funeral costs and other expenses.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Highway Work Zone Safety”, accessed on Jan. 19, 2015