Serious and Fatal Injuries to Workers on Highway Construction ProjectsAuthor/Presenter: Bryden, James E.; Andrew, Laurel B.
An analysis of 240 accidents resulting in hospital-level or fatal injuries to workers on New York State Department of Transportation highway and bridge construction projects between 1993 and 1997 identifies types of accidents resulting in worker injuries. Construction accidents accounted for nearly four-fifths of all serious injuries and nearly three-fifths of the fatalities. Traffic accidents accounted for about one-fifth of the serious worker injuries and more than two-fifths of the fatalities. Construction accidents involving tools and equipment were most frequent, accounting for nearly half of the serious worker injuries and 20% of the fatalities. Fall accidents accounted for one-quarter of all serious construction injuries, with falls from heights the most common occurrence. Serious injuries from trench or excavation collapse and electrical contacts were rare, but electrical contacts resulted in two fatalities. Although not as frequent as construction accidents, traffic accidents also represented serious risk both to pedestrian workers and to workers in construction vehicles or equipment. Traffic accident injuries involving pedestrian workers accounted for 15% of all serious injuries and more than 40% of the fatalities. Two-thirds of the traffic accident injuries to pedestrian workers occurred from vehicles intruding into marked work spaces and striking workers or flaggers, but 4 of the 14 worker fatalities included in the study involved workers who were outside the defined work space. The calculated fatality rate of 24.4 fatalities per 100,000 worker years is higher than rates reported for workplace fatalities in general but is consistent with reported rates for construction occupations.
Publisher: Transportation Research Board
Publication Date: January 1, 1999
Source URL: Link to URL
Publication Types: Books, Reports, Papers, and Research Articles
Topics: Crash Analysis; Crash Data; Crash Reports; Work Zone Safety; Worker Safety