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Fatalities among road construction employees

Employees who build and repair streets, highways and bridges are at risk of being killed in work zones because of construction accidents. Road workers in New Jersey are no exception to this and might want to know how often fatalities occur in their line of employment.

There were 8,103 fatalities across the entire construction industry between 2003 and 2007. With 639 road construction deaths, this means that 7.9 percent of all construction deaths occurred in road construction sites. In roadway construction work zones between 2003 and 2010, statistics show that 962 employees died on the job. In 87 percent of those cases, the workers were on site, with the other 13 percent of fatalities occurring to workers traveling through the site.

Between 2003 and 2007, most on-site construction workers died after being hit with mobile equipment or vehicles. Other causes of road construction deaths were overturned equipment or vehicles, falls from equipment or vehicles, and collisions in which the victims were inside equipment or vehicles. Fatalities involving workers traveling through construction sites were primarily caused by collisions involving equipment or vehicles moving in the same direction, or involving equipment or vehicles hitting stopped equipment or vehicles.

Construction site workers suffer one of the highest injury rates in the United States. A construction injury might be the result of a falling object, a fall from a scaffold or an accident involving power tools. If the injury is serious, the worker could be absent from work for an extended period of time. Workers' compensation benefits may be available to pay for the costs of medical care and treatment as well as to provide for a percentage of wages lost due to the inability to return to work.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Highway Work Zone Safety", accessed on Jan. 28, 2015

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