Who is Liable for Worker Injuries in Work Zones?

Lever & Ecker, PLLC August 31, 2013 Construction Accidents

When the temperature begins to increase, so do the number of road construction work zones which increase potential accidents. It is good for workers’ paychecks, but not always for their safety. The US DOT reports that over 87,000 crashes occur in work zones annually, which means workers must take extra caution from drivers on the road. In 2011, 122 workers died in work zones, and 20,000 employees are injured each year in work zones, from conditions other than negligent drivers.

Work Zone Dangers Involving Cars

Facts about crashes in work zones are that speed is often a factor. In NY the fines for speeding in a work zone, whether workers are present or not, can range from $60-$900. Only a warning sign has to be present, and drivers are responsible for following all directions posted. According to CSEA, more than 810,000 drivers are using a cell phone behind the wheel at any given time, and distracted driving behaviors of all kinds are on the rise, which can contribute to a crash in a construction work zone. Alcohol and poorly designed work zones were other contributing factors to crashes, as well as being in an over 55 speed limit stretch of road.

Other Dangers

Cars are not the only danger to employees in a work zone. The DOT report also shows that overexertion, overheating, being struck by an object, being caught between two objects, slips, trips and falls, and exposure to toxic or harmful environmental substances caused worker injuries. Employers are responsible for proper training, safe equipment, testing the environment and providing adequate time for hydration, shade, and rest, especially in the hot summer months.

Construction work is a very important, yet dangerous job. When drivers and employers do not act responsibly on the roads of NY, the results can be devastating. Contact an experienced NY construction accident attorney if you or a loved one has suffered injury in a work zone due to another person’s negligence.