It’s no secret that the construction industry has its inherent dangers. Our Orlando construction lawyers spend a great deal of time working with companies to ensure that they have safety plans that are both thorough and OSHA-compliant. However, there’s one segment of construction that remains especially dangerous. Road construction continually ranks as one of the most dangerous professions within our industry. According to the Federal Highway Administration’s Work Zone Management Program, 669 people died in work zone crashes in 2014. There are a number of factors that led this harrowing statitic, including reduced visibility during night time road construction, drunk drivers, and inclement weather.
When a worker dies on a road construction site, the lost felt by family and friends is unimaginable. That’s why we have created this two-part series on protecting road construction workers. For more tips, visit part two of this series.
Create a Safety Plan
Safety plans come up often in our articles, but it can’t be expressed enough. As the saying goes, “a failure to plan is a plan to fail.” Before starting a road construction project evaluate the site closely. Look at traffic patterns, times of day where traffic is heaviest, and other potential hazards. Use this information to create a plan that covers how hazards will be dealt with, emergency procedures, and equipment maintenance checks.
While much of roadway safety is focussed on avoiding accidents, careful attention must be paid to the health of road workers, especially in terms of hydration. According to Conservation Magazine, on a typical summer day, asphalt can warm to as much as 140 degrees. Not only can workers get sick, they can also become disoriented, which can lead to poor decision making and potential injury. Drink plenty of fluids while working and seek consistent breaks in a cool place.
Use Technology to Stay Safe
We can turn to technology to keep workers safe as well. From tools like rumble strips to glass-beaded reflective paint, systems that warn drivers that they are impeding on a construction area can go a long way towards keeping workers safe. Halo lights can also be used to increase worker visibility while on the road at night.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.