Between 2011 and 2016, 532 roadside construction workers were killed on the job. In general, roadside construction deaths account for 9% of all fatalities in the industry each year.
According to the report from the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), nearly half of the deaths were caused by vehicles striking the workers. Many of those vehicles were ordinary passenger cars, but some were construction vehicles driven by other workers.
Even more distressing, the reality is that number of deaths among roadside construction workers has been slowly increasing over time. From 2013 to 2016, for example, there was a 43% increase in the number of deaths. If you happen to work roadside construction, you're most in danger of death if you're working crossing guard duty. Your risk of death also goes up every year in both June and October -- which is likely when the projects are just starting and just wrapping up.
CPWR and other agencies like the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are all looking for ways to reduce the rising death toll.
Some strategies suggested include methods of increasing the signs surrounding construction sites, creating better visibility for the workers, stepping up enforcement of speed limits and more engineering controls to keep traffic routed as far away as possible from the workers.
No matter what, there are always going to be serious occupational risks for roadside construction workers. While the death toll is distressing enough, many other roadside construction workers are left seriously injured in accidents. If you find yourself in that position, find out everything you can about your legal options for compensation.