Construction Workers More Likely to Be Injured in Vehicle Accidents in the Winter
You know the importance of wearing thermals and gloves on the job site in the winter. You make sure you take your breaks, drink plenty of fluids and prepare for the dropping temperatures on a construction site every year…so that may be why you didn’t expect to be injured on the job miles from the worksite.
Construction Workers At Increased Risk of a Crash in Winter Months
Unfortunately, hundreds of construction workers are struck by cars every year—a number that usually goes up during the winter. Workers who are driving company cars, moving heavy machinery or are simply struck by a car while they are working are entitled to workers’ compensation—and could qualify for many additional types of benefits.
Here are a few ways your employer could be liable for a vehicle accident on a construction site:
- Work zone traffic accidents. Work zone car accidents claim many lives each winter, as drivers are more likely to slide on ice and lose control of their vehicles. Your company is responsible for increasing worker visibility as much as possible in dark and snowy winter months. Employers should post signs, barrels with flashers and protective barriers to shield workers, as well as provide workers with high-visibility jackets and adequate lighting.
- Lack of training. Every employee should be trained to operate each piece of machinery and must be licensed (as applicable) to ensure maximum safety. Employers should also provide yearly courses on operating cars and heavy vehicles in the winter, including extra safety precautions or winterizing procedures that should be done to reduce accidents.
- Failed inspections. Construction companies have a duty to provide their employees with safe equipment. All vehicles, including company cars, should be inspected regularly to ensure all components are working properly. Employers should also have regular maintenance performed on all of their vehicles, including replacing worn or damaged parts as soon as the problem has been detected.
What Should I Do If I Was Injured in a Car Accident on the Job?
If you are involved in an accident this winter, the best thing to do is stay in the vehicle. Call 911 if possible, taking care to describe as much of the scene as you can see from the car. Do not exit the vehicle to check for damage if you are at the side of a busy roadway, as you could easily be struck by passing traffic. If the engine is still working, turn it on for one out of every ten minutes to avoid hypothermia. However, if your back end has been pushed into a snowbank, avoid running the engine to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you were struck by a car or passing driver while working for a construction company, we can help you gather evidence of your case while you recover. Fill out the short contact form on this page to tell us what happened, and we will contact you privately with your legal options.