Unsafe Conditions For Road And Bridge Workers
Construction workers face hazards of all kinds on a daily basis. Those workers focused on road and bridgework are exposed to unique challenges that can put their health, and their very lives, at risk. If an employer has failed to provide adequate safety precautions for workers and serious injuries or death result, a good personal injury/wrongful death attorney can help.
Infrastructure in the United States
The size of the issue is breathtaking, considering all of the roads and bridges in the United States. In this country there are over four trillion miles of roadways, 65 percent of which are paved, and more than 600,000 bridges:
- Three trillion rural roadways;
- 1 trillion urban roadways’
- Nearly 500,000 rural bridges.
- Over 100,000 urban bridges.
While three out of every four bridges are considered to be in good condition, 12 percent are deficient, and 13 percent are obsolete. That tells us that even while new bridges are under construction, many others are being renovated.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists a number of concerns with regards to bridges and other elevated highways as related to construction workers:
- Protection from falls;
- Incidents involving cranes;
- Lead interactions;
- Communications hazards;
- Proper signage and labeling.
Deaths of Workers in Bridge and Road Construction
Workers face risks in multiple circumstances while on the job. The leading causes of death for these workers include:
- Being hit by heavy equipment or vehicles;
- Being struck by other objects on site;
- Becoming tangled in heavy machinery or equipment;
Creating Safer Worksites
Several safety principles could be employed on construction sites to create more secure environments for workers:
- Reducing the number of access points leading into and out of work areas’
- Creating work spaces that require less backing up and more forward movement of big equipment;
- Ensuring that all workers wear the correct type of safety work gloves;
- Enhancing coordination and communication among and between equipment operators and big trucks;
- Designating certain areas as worker-free;
- Separating workers from traffic;
- Providing proper signage, traffic signals, and barriers;
- Keeping fire safety equipment on hand, including fire blanketing and extinguishers;
- Requiring hard hat use when the possibility of falling objects, head bumps, or contact with utility lines exists;
- Compelling employees to wear adequate foot protection; and
- Requiring face and eye protection for workers.
Following an Accident
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury, or worse, death, as a result of a road or bridge construction accident, there is a good possibility you are entitled to damages, particularly if industry safety measures were not employed. At the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton, our experienced legal team will support you in your quest for justice. Contact us in Daytona & Ormond Beach for a free, confidential consultation.