The workers who build and maintain our nation’s streets, bridges and highways face the risk of injuries from work vehicles, heavy equipment, motorists passing through work zones and other hazards.
Workers’ compensation is usually available in Florida for road crew members who are hurt on the job. It may also be possible to bring a lawsuit against a non-employer or a non-co-worker for harm suffered in an accident.
Frank M. Eidson, P.A., is available to help. We have a long history of assisting injured workers in Orlando and throughout central Florida with seeking workers’ compensation benefits and other relief. To learn what we can do for you, contact us today and schedule a free consultation.
How Common are Work Zone Accidents?
Each year, more than 100 workers are killed at road construction sites. More than 20,000 workers are injured in such jobs. The injury rate for highway, street, and bridge construction workers in the U.S. is 1.8 per 100 workers.
Florida annually ranks as one of the top states for occupational road work zone fatalities. Two years ago, seven road construction crew members died in the state. Only three other states had more fatalities.
What Types of Work Zone Accidents Occur?
The top causes of work zone injuries are:
- Contact with objects or equipment
- Slips, trips, or falls
- Transportation incidents
- Exposure to harmful substances or environment.
Most fatal work zone accidents are the result of vehicle and equipment incidents. Workers are about as likely to be struck by a construction vehicle (such as a dump truck or road grader) as they are by a passing traffic vehicle.
About half of all incidents involving pedestrian worker fatalities (workers on foot) are the result of backing vehicles. Other, specific sources of road construction crew injury include:
- Contact with overhead power lines
- Falls from machinery or structures
- Gas line explosions
- Being struck by falling objects or materials.
What Causes Road Construction Crew Accidents?
As noted above, road crew workers face risks from both the motoring public and vehicles and equipment in the construction site.
Inadequate safety measures largely explain accidents within work zones. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) blames collisions, in part, on poor visibility around construction equipment. In other words, construction vehicles and equipment have large blind spots that limit the visibility of pedestrian workers.
In general, better safety could improve the welfare of road construction crew members. Some of the most frequently cited Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) violations in bridge, tunnel, highway and street construction relate to:
- Fall protection
- Hazard communication
- Protective systems
- Signs and tags.
For those work zone injuries and deaths caused by motorists, driver error commonly plays a role. Some of the leading work zone crash factors are:
- Drug and alcohol use
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving.
How Can a Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Help with Your Work Zone Injury?
Road construction crew members who are injured on-the-job should be entitled to benefits under Florida’s workers’ compensation system. Frank M. Eidson, P.A., can help you seek the benefits you need by making sure that all paperwork is filled out properly and filed on-time and by resolving disputes. Our firm also helps the family members of deceased workers recover death benefits.
Depending on the nature of the accident, a number of other legal claims may be possible. While you can’t sue your employer for your accident, you may be able to sue another driver who negligently operated a motor vehicle and struck you in a work zone. You might also be able to take legal action against another construction company (that doesn’t employ you), a safety inspection company or a government agency.
To learn about all of your legal options following a work zone construction accident, contact us today for a free initial case review. We proudly serve Orlando, Winter Park and other central Florida communities.
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