Road construction is a reality year-round in Baltimore. However, as summer approaches, we will likely see an uptick in these projects.
Those who work in road construction know that these busy, unreliable and constantly changing workplaces, can be overwhelming and even hazardous. Workplace accidents are common in this field, and the risk only seems to be increasing.
Report: Road construction fatalities increasing
In 2018, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) reported that worker fatalities at road construction sites increased significantly. The report found that:
- 532 road construction workers were killed on the job between 2011 and 2016; and
- The rate of fatalities increased by 43% in three years, from 2013 to 2016.
Nearly half of these fatalities were the result of workers being struck by passenger vehicles or vehicles on the worksite. However, serious falls and falling objects are also a hazard that workers face every day.
Additionally, almost 20,000 workers suffer serious injuries on road construction sites annually. Injured workers are entitled to collect workers’ compensation, regardless of the risk they face on the job. they must still take measures to improve their safety (Maryland Code, Labor & Employment §9-507). The injured worker need not prove their Employer was negligent as a result of the accident; rather, that the injury arose out of the required work and was in the course of employment. If roadside worker is struck by a vehicle or falling debris, they should contact an experienced attorney to ensure that they receive appropriate coverage.
How can road construction workers stay safe?
Employers should provide road construction workers with proper safety training. They should also create effective plans for controlling traffic to reduce the hazards that workers face.
Maryland workers can request additional safety training, but they can also take steps to ensure their own safety, such as:
- Understanding the details of the specific site safety program;
- Always wearing personal protective equipment and high visibility safety apparel; and
- Staying alert and always being aware of one’s surroundings.
Following these steps and sticking to a safety plan can help construction workers avoid hazards.