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Fatalities associated with highway work

As California residents may know, roadway construction workers have a difficult job that can present a hazard to both drivers and the workers. According to statistics presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of the deaths occurring at roadway construction sites remains at over 100 each year.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas led the nation in the 11-year period through 2013 in roadway construction deaths with 131 fatalities, followed by Florida. Accidents involving motor vehicles striking a road worker was the cause of 69 percent of the fatalities nationwide. Occupational fatality statistics included tractor-trailer drivers, maintenance workers along the road, construction workers, construction supervisors and equipment operators. About 60 percent of fatal injuries in private sector jobs occurred in civil or heavy engineering construction and specialty work sectors. Two-thirds of all accidents were attributed to transportation accidents, and 69 percent of those fatalities involved a worker on foot being struck.

During the five-year period ending in 2012, there were 669 recorded fatalities where maintenance work and construction were underway. Road construction fatalities accounted for 962 deaths in the seven-year period leading up to 2010, with 87 percent of fatalities on-site. Most of those fatal accidents were caused while the victim was inside a vehicle or was in the process of operating heavy equipment.

Construction accidents at the workplace may lead to medical bills, long recuperation time and loss of wages. If a worker is killed or hurt at work, the family or worker may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Workers' compensation regulations are state specific. An attorney who has experience in these matters can inform the injured family or worker of their eligibility to receive benefits and provide assistance throughout the filing process.

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

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