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Construction and roadway zone safety

Illinois employees might be interested in learning more about highway work zone safety in the construction industry, as described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Construction employees working on roadway worksites are exposed to increased risks of injury or death as a result of moving construction equipment and vehicles, such as backover-related incidents. According to the CDC, implementing the appropriate controls and protocols may be an effective strategy for reducing the incident rate.

The number of deaths in maintenance and construction work zones averaged more than 770 per year in the mid to late 1990s, over 1,000 per year in the early to mid-2000s and under 670 per year between 2007 and 2012. Motorists and workers face an increased risk of injury or death as vehicles encounter a number of temporary traffic signals and navigate various lane changes amid construction zones. The fatality total was as low as 609 during 2012, and as high as 1,095 during 2003.

The three states with the highest motor vehicle fatality totals in the work zones during 2012 were Florida, California and Texas. More than 50 workers in each of these states were killed by motor vehicle related accidents during the year. Beginning in 2003, Texas had the most employee deaths in work zones for 10 consecutive years. In 2013, more than 65 percent of roadway work zone injuries were attributable to construction transportation accidents. Nearly 70 percent of the transportation accidents involved a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle.

Employees who have suffered injuries from construction workers' accidents may benefit from contacting legal counsel. Lawyers may be able to investigate the incidents and help provide guidance as to whether the victim is eligible to file a workers' compensation claim.

Source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Highway Work Zone Safety", accessed on Jan. 10, 2015

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