What Are Work Zone Accidents?
Work zone crashes are usually traffic accidents that occur in or near work zones. Sometimes, construction, maintenance, or utility workers are present on roadways. Whether that is due to a long-term lane closure, moving operation, or shoulder work, their safety may depend on drivers’ focus and attention. It is the driver’s responsibility to remain alert and aware of their surroundings. They should avoid distractions such as cell phones or eating while driving. Failure to do so puts everyone at risk, including workers and other drivers. Work zone accidents can also involve pedestrian fatalities.
Focus and concentration while driving are crucial, especially when passing through work zones. Drivers should follow the posted speed limit, keep a safe distance from other vehicles, and pay attention to the road’s warning signs.
2022 Work Zone Crashes Statistics
According to Joplin News, construction and work zone accidents frequently occur in Joplin, MO. The number averages about 170 per year.
In Missouri last year, 17 individuals died while in work zones on the roads. Since 2000, a total of 34 highway workers have been killed while on duty, with 16 of them being in work zones. According to MoDOT, speeding and distracted driving are the biggest risks.
Joplin Work Zone Crashes Due to Severe Weather
Work zone crashes due to severe weather are common in many parts of the country, including Joplin, Missouri. Severe weather conditions can make driving dangerous, especially in work zones. This includes:
- Heavy rain
- Violent tornadoes
These natural phenomena are not uncommon in Joplin. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the 2011 Joplin tornado destroyed nearly one-third of the city as the estimated wind speeds exceeded 200 mph. It’s considered the deadliest tornado in the U.S. since the National Weather Service started record-keeping.
How Many Construction Workers Die Each Year?
According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (O.S.H.A.), the construction industry had the second most fatal occupational injuries in 2021, accounting for 951 deaths.
Construction and work zone accidents greatly impact workers, families of workers, employers, and the economy. They can result in injuries and fatalities, leading to emotional and financial stress for workers and their families. Employers also face legal implications and financial losses due to lawsuits, workers’ compensation claims, and damage to equipment and property.
Common Construction Worker Injuries
Typical construction work zone accident injuries include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Back and neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Burns and scarring
- Internal organ damage
- Permanent nerve damage
- Spine injuries and paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries
Accidents in construction zones can cause serious injuries, disabilities, or even fatalities. Even a minor injury can hinder the worker’s ability to work.
Prevention of Construction and Work Zone Accidents
Preventing construction and work zone accidents requires a concerted effort. The Joplin area is prone to severe weather conditions, which may increase the risk of work zone crashes. Work zone crews must take extra precautions during severe weather conditions to reduce the risk of accidents. They should use bright, visible signage and barriers to help guide drivers safely through work zones.
Employers must implement safety measures such as the following:
- Use of personal protective equipment
- Enforcement of safety guidelines
- Regular equipment maintenance and inspection
- Adequate worker training in safety practices, hazard recognition, and emergency response
Trained and safety-conscious workers are more likely to respond appropriately. They are able to recognize the signs of danger or potential hazards, pay attention to their surroundings, and take measures to prevent accidents.
Drivers can also do their part. They must slow down and be extra cautious when driving through construction areas. This is crucial during severe weather conditions. They should always be aware of potential hazards such as standing water, work debris, and low visibility.
Injured in Joplin MO? How a Lawyer Can Help
Construction and work zone accidents happen every day in Joplin, MO. If you are a construction worker who’s been injured at work, you may be entitled to compensation.
While you can file your claim without a lawyer, dealing with insurance companies, the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation, and probably your employer’s attorneys can be overwhelming.
Your claim may be unreasonably delayed while your medical bills continue to pile up. Our highly-qualified personal injury lawyers in Joplin can help. Call Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien today, and we’ll work to get you the compensation you deserve.