Summertime is when road construction around New York City kicks into high gear. Crews rush to get projects done before the snow falls and adds another layer of complexity to what is already a challenging and dangerous task-upgrading the city’s infrastructure while daily commuters are still whizzing past. A study from the December issue of 2004’s Monthly Labor Review concerning the safety of construction workers at roadside job sites was recently revisited. New data was added to that previously collected and statistics were updated to include accidents as recent as 2007. The numbers aren’t heartening at all.
Official data pulled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries shows that during the time period between 1995 and 2007, over 1,400 workers lost their lives to fatal road construction accidents. The study concluded that a “majority of these fatal occupational injuries were incurred by workers in the highway, street, and bridge construction industry.” These fatalities account for an average of 2.23 percent of all fatal work-related injuries (not just construction work) nationwide and while the numbers have dipped slightly in recent years, there are still far more such injuries than ever before.
Almost half of these deadly construction accidents were caused by reckless automobile drivers who struck workers as they passed through the work zone. The majority of those were killed by trucks (pickup, semis, and dump trucks) but nearly a quarter were struck by passing cars.
Construction workers who put their safety and their very lives at risk every day to maintain and upgrade New York City’s aging roadways deserve the same respect and protection offered to construction workers at all job sites around the city. Their jobs are made even more dangerous due to their proximity to the passing public. Auto accidents involving constructions workers are all-too common in spite of warning signs, alternate routes, and safety gear.
If a worker is struck (even if there are not killed instantly) the financial fallout can be devastating. Often, the workers’ compensation benefits do not cover all the lost income incurred by the injured party. This puts families in desperate situations and can ruins lives for years to come.
A qualified legal representative well versed in construction accident law can make the recovery process much easier by helping families and injured workers recover financial damages incurred through the carelessness of distracted or unsafe drivers. If you or a loved one has been involved in a road construction accident or at work site, call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation to learn your rights at 646-736-2777 or 212-385-1122.