Working in road construction can be a rewarding occupation, but it can also be extremely dangerous for a number of reasons. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that road-related hazards are among the top factors that can lead to fatalities and injuries for construction workers, pointing to some key statistics:
- In 2017, there were 313 construction workers killed in traffic-related accidents while NOT in a vehicle;
- Almost half of these deaths were in just a few construction occupations, including trades, laborers, and highway and ground maintenance; and,
- The highest percentage of fatalities among construction workers involved accidents with semis, 18-wheelers, and other large trucks.
If you are a construction worker who was hurt because of a common road hazard, it is important to contact a Baltimore County workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. You might also find it useful to know what types of conditions make your job extremely risky.
Aggravated and Confused Drivers
Traffic tends to slow down in construction zones, both because of a reduced speed limit and lane closures. Motorists get frustrated, especially when they are in a hurry. They may engage in aggressive driving, such as cutting off other vehicles or turning without signaling. Other drivers might get confused due to changes in traffic patterns and lack of signage. When annoyed or bewildered, motorists make critical errors that can lead to injuries for workers.
Construction Vehicles and Equipment
By its nature, the construction worksite involves heavy machinery, large vehicles, gear, and tools – all of which are moving and in use by crews at any given time. Even when workers are complying with safety regulations, they could suffer injuries through falls, being struck by an object, or getting caught between objects. Plus, construction equipment contains numerous parts and components. The smallest defect can lead to catastrophic accidents, causing serious injuries.
Vehicle Debris and Exhaust
A traffic moves through the construction zone, vehicles are emitting dangerous fumes. Carbon monoxide, sulfur, oxidized nitrogen, formaldehyde, and soot, which can cause difficulty breathing and respiratory distress if inhaled in large quantities. Watery eyes, nose irritation, headaches, and nausea are health concerns in the short term. Workers may also develop long-term medical conditions after continued exposure, including heart disease and lung cancer.
The job of a construction worker does not stop because of rain, snow, sleet, or fog. Crews work in all types of weather, regardless of the dangers. Slick surfaces increase the likelihood of slips, trips, and falls. Plus, wet and slippery conditions affect construction equipment and vehicles. Fog leads to reduced visibility, concealing hazards and making it difficult to see workers at a distance.
Consult with a Baltimore County, MD Workers’ Comp Lawyer for Free
For more information on your legal remedies as a construction worker hurt by a traffic-related accident, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman. We can schedule a no-cost case evaluation to review your circumstances and determine the best strategy to get the full benefits you deserve under Maryland’s workers’ compensation laws.