Many Pennsylvanians earn a living by working in construction. This is a rewarding job with many benefits and pride in putting in a hard day’s work. Unfortunately, it is also one of the riskiest jobs a person can do. Construction site jobs with workers using large tools, heavy machinery, being stationed at great heights and trusting fellow workers can cause accidents and make workers’ compensation benefits necessary. Workers who may be at higher risk are road construction contractors.
A recent survey from the Associated General Contractors of America indicates that contractors are concerned about work zone safety when performing highway projects. The survey consisted of 200 contractors. It showed that 68% of contractors who took part said they saw at least one auto accident in a work zone in 2019. One-third said they saw at least five. Five percent stated there was a construction worker fatality; 15% said a driver or passenger in the vehicle died; 17% of the accidents led to at least one worker being injured; and 44% said drivers or passengers were injured in a collision.
Drivers tend to speed through construction zones. This has long been a challenge for road construction crews. In recent years, another problem has grown increasingly troublesome: distracted drivers with 81% of companies citing this issue. Ironically, recent events that resulted in the reduction in road traffic has enhanced worker safety to a degree. Workloads and traffic is starting to return to previous levels, again stoking concern. Twenty percent of the companies who took part said the roads are not as safe as they were because drivers who are not restrained by traffic tend to speed or behave in other ways that place themselves and workers in jeopardy.
Pennsylvania has taken steps to try to improve safety by using speed cameras to catch driers who are violating the law. Other tactics such as positive barriers to protect workers have been suggested. Even with safety procedures and growing attention to the problem, construction accidents can happen without warning leaving workers wondering how they will make ends meet and get the medical care they need. A workers’ compensation claim can help with wage loss, medical payments and more. After an accident, consulting with an experienced legal professional can provide information and help with pursuing benefits.