During the spring and summer months in Pennsylvania, it is not uncommon to see more road construction projects blooming than actual flowers. The state has worked hard to make these work zones safe for construction workers and the public, but work zones accidents continue to happen every year.
Road construction workers face several hazards while working. In addition to being at risk for a workplace accident involving heavy equipment and machinery, workers also face hazards from vehicles on the road.
Many vehicles travel on Pennsylvania roads and during road construction, workers are at risk for being hit or injured by an uncontrolled vehicle. Most work zones accidents occur when a vehicle is speeding or driving distracted through a construction zone, and unfortunately, there is not much for workers to do to prevent these types of accidents because it all depends on drivers staying alert and slowing down while driving through work zones.
The construction industry has increased education on work zone dangers for construction workers. However, workplace safety advocates say that the public needs to become more aware of the dangers associated with work zones to prevent future accidents.
People driving through construction zones need to be aware of the hazards and remember to slow down and obey all signs to keep themselves and construction workers safe. This is not just for the benefit of construction workers because reports show that a majority of fatal work zone accidents involve a motorist. In fact, four out of five work-zone fatalities in the country involve a driver who was speeding or driving distracted through a work zone.
It is important for drivers to remember that it is their responsibility to follow signs and use caution while driving through road construction. Drivers who are not driving safely through work zones are not only putting their lives in danger, but many construction workers as well.
Source: Post-Gazette, “For safety’s sake, drivers, please respect work zones,” April 22, 2013