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This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for work injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by work injuries.

Texas Construction Work Zones can be Deadly; Texas Leads in Worker Fatalities

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015
(Photo by S. A. McHugh)

(Photo by S. A. McHugh)

According to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse, 579 of the 32,719 traffic fatalities in the U.S. in 2013 occurred in construction work zones. Texas had more work zone fatalities than any other state, by a wide margin. There were 104 work zone fatalities in Texas, 69 in Florida, 51 in California, 30 in Illinois, 23 in Georgia, 20 in Ohio, 19 in Oklahoma, 17 in Virginia, 16 in Pennsylvania, and 14 in Arkansas, Colorado, and Tennessee, which were tied for the tenth most deaths.

Highway construction work zones are hazardous for many reasons, including that motorists fail to properly slow down or be on the lookout for construction workers. On any construction site, however, there are plenty of risks. The following are some examples of fatal construction accidents that occurred in 2014:

  • In New Jersey, the one-pound tape measure that a construction worker was carrying on his belt fell off, dropping 50 stories onto a 58-year-old construction worker’s head. The man was not wearing a hard hat. He was quickly transported to a hospital but died about an hour after the tape measure struck him.
  • On the Pontchartrain Causeway in New Orleans, the driver of a garbage truck sped through a road construction work zone and rammed into the rear of a pickup truck that was following behind road construction workers. The impact was forceful enough that the pickup truck went over the bridge railing and plunged into Lake Pontchartrain. The 57-year-old driver of the pickup died. The construction truck driver fulfilled his purpose in driving the truck, which was to provide a buffer between traffic and the construction workers on foot that were ahead of him. The truck was even designed for the job, with the ability to withstand forceful rear impacts. The speeding garbage truck, however, was more than the pickup could handle. None of the other construction workers were injured.

Read more examples of construction fatalities that occurred in 2014 in this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor

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