Road construction workers face serious risks while they work

It seems as though there are always roadways here in Texas under construction. The situation can be inconvenient and frustrating as a driver as you navigate through cones, barriers and more. However, as one of the people working on the roadway, you are incredibly vulnerable to injury -- not just from the equipment and construction vehicles but also from those motorists trying to get through the construction zone.

Fatalities in your line of work are a very real danger. The problem is so prevalent that several federal agencies gather information regarding deaths of road construction workers over the years. A review of some of that information could help you identify where your risk is highest.

The numbers aren't good

The bulk of the data analyzed looks at accidents involving fatalities of road construction workers from 2003 through 2017. The information below comes from that data:

  • Approximately 67% of all deaths during the aforementioned period involved highway maintenance workers, first-line supervisors of extraction and construction workers, construction equipment operators, heavy and tractor-trailer drivers, and construction laborers.
  • Around 62% of the deaths involved those in private-sector construction, such as specialty trade contractors, and heavy/civil engineering construction contractors.
  • The number of workers killed in motor vehicle accidents in construction zones reached its peak in 2002, then dropped until 2015 when the numbers began rising again.
  • During the relevant period, Texas held the number one spot for deaths of road construction workers.
  • Vehicles inside the work zone struck many of the workers who lost their lives.

Even if your employer provides you with all of the safety equipment and training available, it's nearly impossible to account for bad drivers. You could escape harm from construction equipment and vehicles, but one driver who fails to consider your safety in a road construction zone could cause you significant harm. Your injuries could keep you from working for some time and you may need extensive medical care.

As you recover from your injuries, your thoughts turn to how you will support yourself and your family during this time. You expect workers' compensation benefits to be there without question, but that isn't always the case. Insurance companies work hard to find a reason to deny your claim, but fortunately, you can appeal that decision. You could also work with an attorney from the start in order to increase your chances of receiving benefits as soon as possible and to explore whether you also have a third party claim.

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