Working on the road is not easy. You have vehicles traveling around you, and there are drivers who appear distracted and who don’t watch where they’re going.
Work-zone fatalities lead to up to 24% of roadway delays, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Construction crashes are common. Other injuries can happen, too, like being struck by falling objects or objects kicked up from the road, getting caught between equipment or being electrocuted.
Construction workers have a right to be safe on the job, but how can we keep them safe?
Construction sites should have safety standards in place to help prevent accidents. Sites should:
- Have posted signs in hazardous areas
- Use traffic control signs or devices that meet the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices requirements
- Use flaggers if and when needed to control traffic
- Use accident prevention tags to warn employees about different hazards
Individual workers can also help themselves by:
- Paying close attention to what’s going on around them
- Following safety protocols for the work area
- Wearing the appropriate safety attire to work in the field
Those who are working around heavy equipment should be sure to communicate with the drivers, so that they know who is around them. Never stand under cranes or lifted items, because they could fall or cause an accident during a malfunction.
Employers should take steps to make sure that all people working in the construction zone have the appropriate training to do their jobs. They also need safety training, so that they are acting safely on the roadways.
Work zones are dangerous, but you can take steps to stay safe
Anyone working in a construction zone needs to take steps to be safe. If you’re working and notice a hazard, make sure that the people around you know about it. If there is a vehicle approaching that will enter your space, get out of the way and use your radio system to alert others. Being aware of your surroundings is one of the best things you can do to stay safe and to help others avoid injury. If you are hurt, then remember to report your injury to get support with workers’ compensation.