Construction workers were more than twice as likely than other industry workers to be killed at road construction sites from 2011 through 2016, according to a report by the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR). During that time frame, 532 construction workers were killed. About half of those fatalities occurred when workers were struck by vehicles or mobile equipment, and nearly three quarters of those killed worked in the highway, street and bridge subsectors.
According to the report, there was a 43 percent increase in road construction deaths in 2016, during which 103 workers will killed, compared to a period low in 2013, when there were just 72 deaths. Workers serving as crossing guards had the highest fatality rate at 40.9 per 100,000 employees.
For the report, CPWR obtained fatality numbers from the Census of Fatal Occupational Industries (CFOI), and employment data from the Current Population Survey (CPS). Employment data from the entire construction industry was also used as the denominators in rate calculations.
The report also provided related information on injury prevention at road construction sites selected from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and CPWR.
Recommendations included increasing visibility of workers and signage, creating better barriers between workers and traffic, using warning systems for both drivers and workers, enforcing speed reduction near and at construction sites, and using engineering controls like road closings or detours when possible.
Safety + Health