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Leep, Tescher, Helfman and Zanze

Employers should make highway work zones safer

In California, incidents resulting in an injury to highway construction workers are on the rise. Whether it is simply due to more roadwork being performed on crumbling infrastructure or the fact that drivers are not paying the proper amount of attention, those who perform their jobs in work zones are risking their health when they go to work each day.

Employers must take steps to protect their employees when they are on the job. In a highway setting, this means having more barriers to keep employees safe. It also means selecting the right type of material for the barriers to make them more effective against cars. Many accidents happen when workers are hit by cars entering the work zone and stronger barriers can keep cars from encroaching on the workspace.

Other accidents happen when drivers are not able to see the construction workers. This can partially be addressed by giving the workers brighter clothes so they are easier to be spotted by drivers. Of course, keeping road workers safe also depends on how well drivers pay attention behind the wheel and follow traffic laws. Texting behind the wheel or speeding through a work zone will endanger the worker. These cause many accidents each year. In this case, it is up to law enforcement to enforce the traffic laws that apply to work zones.

Employees who have been injured in highway work zones have several options depending on whose fault the accident was. If the accident was not the fault of a driver, they might want to file for workers’ compensation benefits. If the injury was the fault of the driver, they can sue for negligence. In order to figure out the most viable path, victims might want to consult with an attorney.