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Work-zone dangers in road and bridge construction

Construction accidents happen frequently, but there are things that can be done to prevent them. For instance, when workers are involved in hazardous road and bridge construction areas, there are safety steps that can be taken. If these steps aren’t taken, then the victims of accidents or their families may be able to sue for compensation.

In the United States, there are trillions of miles of roads and over a million bridges that are traveled on every day. For the most part, these roads and bridges are in good condition. It’s estimated that, as of 2008, 65 percent of the nation’s roads have been paved, and 75 percent of all bridges are in good condition.

What about the rest, though? There are 35 percent of the roads without pavement, and a shocking 25 percent of bridges that are unstable or damaged, so they can’t be used safely. Those are places where construction workers must head to make repairs, even though these roads and bridges may be dangerous.

By 2007, there were 835 work zone fatalities. In highway, bridge, and street construction alone, 139 people are killed on average each year. It’s not the damaged bridge or gravel roads that are the problem; it’s reported that being physically hit or struck by vehicles or equipment is the most likely cause of injuries and deaths.

What can be done to keep workers safer? Wearing bright safety gear can help them stay visible, and putting up signs that show the area is a work zone can help. Proper safety gear including hard hats and safety harnesses should be worn when necessary. If these kinds of procedures aren’t followed, it puts workers’ lives at risk.

Source: Work Zone Safety, “Injury Hazards in Road and Bridge Construction,” Jennifer E. Lincoln, David E. Fosbroke, accessed Nov. 24, 2015

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