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The dangers associated with construction zones on roadways

Whenever work zones are implemented on Colorado roadways, the alteration to traffic conditions from lane changes and signs can be dangerous to both motorists and employees who are repairing and building the road. New procedures established by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health seek to prevent construction-related fatalities and injuries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an annual average of 778 construction and maintenance-related deaths in construction road zones occurred from 1994 to 1999. The year of 2003 saw 1,095 such fatalities, but that number has been declining. During 2013, 66 percent of the reported fatalities were due to transportation incidents, with the majority of them involving a pedestrian worker being hit by a motor vehicle. The biggest concern when assessing construction site fatalities is how many incidents involve a backing vehicle, and accidents of this type account for the majority of pedestrian fatalities.

Road construction sites are extremely dangerous for workers and drivers alike. Most of the accidents occur on the actual site but can also occur off-site as employees are passing through the construction zone.

Because of how many accidents regularly happen in this type of industry, workers who have been injured on the job-site might wish to consult with an attorney to determine the eligibility to receive workers' compensation benefits to help with the recovery process. Medical bills can be expensive and lost wages might make it difficult for an individual to be able to return to normal activities. Often, additional treatment may be necessary, such as physical therapy or chiropractic care. If the accident was caused by the negligence of a non-employer third party, it may in some cases be possible to maintain a personal injury action as well.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Highway Work Zone Safety", accessed on Jan. 12, 2015

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