A Tennessee employee was working at a road construction site on Highway 27 as part of the road expansion project when a car flew off the interstate and struck the worker. The worker was flung underneath a crane, breaking his leg.
The driver said he did not remember anything about the accident, including the cause. The Tennessee Department of Transportation (T-DOT) commented and said the constant changes to road construction can make it confusing for drivers.
Why are Road Construction Sites Dangerous?
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), workers on sites in close proximity to vehicles are at risk for being struck by or backed over, be it by passenger vehicles or equipment vehicles. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report showing that between 2003 and 2007, the number one cause of accidents associated with work zones occurred when workers were struck by vehicles. This same report shows that during this five-year period, more than 70 workers suffered from fatal injures due to being struck by a passenger vehicle, just like the incident on Highway 27.
Moreover, road construction sites can be generally hazardous environments due to low visibility, especially if the site is located by inclines. These sites can also be in areas with low lighting. The weather can also create safety hazards. And of course, high traffic volumes and speeding vehicles contribute to the level of danger workers are put in.
How Can Construction Companies and Employers Keep Road Workers Safe?
Employers who have workers on a road construction site must make sure the site has adequate barriers, lighting, warning signals and visible signs to protect the workers on site. Additionally, employers must provide detours for traffic to decrease congestion and the likelihood of an accident. Road construction site vehicles must also have adjustable mirrors to keep passing workers and other passenger vehicles in site. And of course, all companies must provide extensive training for road construction workers.
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6