Traffic Accidents in Roadside Construction
Billions Won by Houston Construction Accident Attorneys
Many people work outside in areas that are often jammed with vehicles and pedestrians. If you work in an area where there is continual traffic, such as at a marine shipyard, a warehouse, or some industrial plants and factories, then you are at risk to one of these accidents. Also, work zones on streets or on the sides of highways can be a serious danger, and many people are struck by cars zooming down a freeway every year. In fact, of all roadside work zone fatalities, 45% are the result of a pedestrian worker being struck by a vehicle.
In 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation gathered data about work zone fatalities as a result of motor vehicle crashes in construction zones. They found that there were 514 vehicle crashes in roadside construction zones, resulting in 576 deaths. That’s 1 fatality every 15 hours.
Thankfully, fatalities are declining due to strict safety standards enacted to protect construction workers. These efforts have been led by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). However, Texas, California, and Florida (the 3 most populous states in the country) still lead the nation in vehicle fatalities in construction zones—each state averages about 50 deaths a year.
As a result, OSHA has created guidelines for all work zones with traffic to enhance the safety of employees. Work zones are supposed to use traffic controls that can be identified by signs, cones, barriers, or barrels in order to guide traffic into proper lanes and the work space.
OSHA Work Zone Requirements
OSHA asks supervisors to create traffic control signals and message boards that show drivers where to operate their vehicles during work hours. OSHA says that there are a variety of different work zone protections that can be used to safeguard employees from traffic.
Some of these barriers include:
- Concrete walls
- Crash cushions
OSHA's guidelines state that drivers, employees, and any pedestrians in the area should be able to see and understand the routes that are designated for both on-foot traffic and automobile traffic. At roadside worksites, construction project managers are required to create these designations. At other locations, the property manager or supervisor needs to ensure traffic controls are in place.
OSHA Requirements for Flaggers
OSHA-regulated clothing can make a flagger visible for at least 1,000 feet in any direction. To further prevent a collision, all worksites should have signs warning drivers of the flagger up ahead or of a slow zone. The flaggers should use illuminated paddles to direct traffic at night.
All flagger stations need to be illuminated. If it is dark outside, then there should be flares or chemical lighting as is necessary. Workers need to ensure that glare effects are controlled or eliminated to lower the possibility of an accident. Also, flaggers must be trained and certified to do their job and abide by the authorized signaling methods while directing traffic out on the road.
Hire a Houston Construction Accident Attorney
OSHA has a single compliance officer for every 59,000 workers. Recent reports calculated that an OSHA official could complete an inspection of all worksites under his or her jurisdiction only if an officer did an inspection every single day for 10 years. With such a small force, OSHA is not equipped to ensure that every worksite is safe. Often, it is the risk of litigation or large settlements that pushes employers to keep their workers safe. That's part of what makes Arnold & Itkin's work so crucial. When workers are injured by unsafe procedures and workers’ comp does not provide what they need, their best chance for support is through a construction accident lawyer in Houston.
If you were on the job when you were harmed, and if you don't believe that your company followed the necessary OSHA guidelines to enhance your safety, then you may be able to seek compensation. You can hire a Houston personal injury lawyer at Arnold & Itkin LLP today to seek compensation in your case. We are happy to answer your questions and help you determine if you have a valid claim. With billions of dollars won on behalf of our clients, our firm has the experience and resources to fight for the resources you need.
Call (888) 493-1629 to speak with us in a free case consultation.