As a South Florida resident, you’re likely aware of how all the main corridors that connect Miami to Fort Lauderdale are always chock full of traffic. Road construction crews spend a lot of time making repairs to damage caused by such heavy use.
If you’re a construction worker, you don’t need anyone to tell you that your job is inherently dangerous. These dangers may increase during the dog days of summer. You may want to know why that is, as this insight could give you some ideas as to some additional steps you can take to stay safe on the job.
Risk of being struck by a stray vehicle
Public safety officials often think that posting signs warning of an upcoming construction zone or enhancing penalties for speeding in these areas is enough to deter motorists from operating recklessly in road construction zones. It’s not, though.
Motorists who are in a hurry will still speed in hopes that they don’t get caught. Other drivers may not note the signs warning of uneven pavement or closed lanes ahead, leaving them unprepared to change course quickly or putting them in line to crash into workers.
Concrete partitions don’t help much when a motorist travels at a high rate of speed in your direction, putting you at risk of getting hurt. Motorists who are tired or too busy focusing on their phones put your life on the line as well.
Other dangers you face as a road construction worker
Your use of heavy machinery can put you at risk of suffering potentially life-threatening injuries. You could suffer a crush or struck-by injury or amputation if the machinery is not properly maintained or malfunctions.
In addition, the hot summer temperatures put you at risk of suffering a heat stroke, and your inhalation of the toxic substances used for road construction may also put you at risk for respiratory and other illnesses both immediately and over time.
Does your employer need to cover your bills if you’re hurt or fall ill on the job?
Most Florida employers must carry workers’ compensation coverage that will pay for your accident or illness-related medical bills and lost wages if you suffer injuries on the job.
You’ll want to learn more about Florida’s workers’ compensation laws to understand how to assert your legal rights.