There is no easy way to say it. Road construction workers put their lives on the line every time they go to a job site. It’s a dangerous job. If they only had to worry about what their coworkers were doing, it wouldn’t be as bad, but due to the nature of their work, they also have to worry about the public as well.
Motorists have no patience for construction zones and often travel through them at speeds too fast for the area. Sometimes, they simply don’t see, or they ignore the cones or other barriers separating them from the workers. It’s no surprise then that the biggest threat to road construction workers is the possibility of a vehicle striking them.
Planning could help save your life
If you work in road construction, you already know how much at risk you are from vehicles. You may also know that your employer is required to come up with a plan to control the flow of traffic through and around your work site in accordance with the requirements of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices from the Federal Highway Administration. This often requires a four-pronged plan covering the four different areas of the construction site, including the following:
- The area leading up to the work zone where motorists receive warnings of upcoming construction
- The area where the flow of traffic transitions around the work zone, such as lane closures
- The area where the road work is actually happening
- The area leading traffic out of the construction zone
Someone will need to inspect all four of these areas daily to make sure everything remains in place. Determining how much area is needed in order to protect workers and motorists depends on the nature of the work and how large the construction area itself is. As the project progresses, changes to the plan may be required, so site supervisors must keep an eye out for that.
Even with a good plan, you can’t account for motorists. Many will speed through construction zones or fail to pay adequate attention while guided through the area. A vehicle could go off course and strike you, causing serious injuries. If this happens, you can apply for workers’ compensation benefits, but you may also want to consider filing a third-party claim against the driver involved in your work-related accident. To know whether this would be the right option for you, consult a North Carolina attorney experienced in this area of the law.