December 04, 2013
From 2003 to 2010, 962 workers were killed at road construction sites. Nearly half of these deaths (443) resulted from a vehicle or mobile equipment striking the worker.
|Event or exposure||Number of fatal injuries|
Worker struck by vehicle, mobile equipment
Struck by falling object
Falls to lower level
Contact with electric current
Workers are roughly as likely to be struck by construction- or maintenance-related equipment (dump trucks, bulldozers, graders, etc.) as by cars, vans, tractor-trailers, buses, and motorcycles. Among workers who were struck by a vehicle or mobile equipment, workers were fatally struck 152 times by construction- or maintenance-related equipment and 153 times by the other vehicles.
In 51 cases, a worker at a road construction site was fatally injured after being struck by a falling object. Workers were struck by a tree seven times; by structural metal materials six times; and by pipes, ducts, and tubing four times. In nine cases, the worker was struck by a falling object that fell from or was put in motion by a crane. In six cases, an object fell from or was put in motion by a backhoe.
Falls to lower level accounted for 45 deaths among workers at road construction sites. In 8 cases, it was noted that the worker was not wearing or had removed fall protection equipment. In 6 other cases, the worker was employing fall protection equipment but failed to tie off to a safety line. Of the 14 cases in which fall protection was either not in place or not correctly used, all occurred at bridge or overpass construction sites.
A total of 39 workers died from contact with electric current while working at a road construction site. Most (35) of these deaths involved contact with overhead power lines.
These data are from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), which is part of the BLS Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. CFOI compiles a count of all fatal work injuries occurring in the United States during a given calendar year. To learn more, see "An analysis of fatal occupational injuries at road construction sites, 2003–2010," by Stephen M. Pegula, in the Monthly Labor Review, November 2013.