Midwesterners often tell transplants or visitors that there are only two seasons in the area: Winter and construction season. Road work ramps up as soon as the cold and snow dissipate and continues strong until the snow rolls back around a few months later.
There are some unique aspects to working in the spring and summer that may leave workers more vulnerable to suffering injuries or dying than they face at other times of the year, though.
Someone may hit you when you work in road construction
Transportation and public safety officials try their best to warn motorists about upcoming construction zones and the consequences of not taking caution in them. This doesn’t phase some motorists, though.
Many families go on road trips during the spring and summer, and there’s generally an uptick in inexperienced teen motorists on the roadway after they get out of school for the year. All of this makes for more traffic congestion and thus more people not operating their vehicle safely for one reason or another. These, coupled with changes in road conditions due to the construction, may lead to a motorist striking you as you perform your job.
Additional factors that make working in road construction dangerous
Road construction workers work around heavy equipment and toxic substances every day. The risk of being struck or crushed by a piece of heavy equipment or its malfunctioning is real. So too is the danger of you inhaling toxic substances, especially if your employer fails to provide you with personal protective equipment to serve as a buffer in such instances.
There’s a risk of you suffering a heat stroke if your employer does provide adequate opportunities for you to take breaks or re-hydrate too.
How to proceed if you get hurt in your road construction job
Every employer has a responsibility to identify and take measures to ensure your safety on the job as best as they can. Illinois law requires most employers to secure workers’ compensation coverage to cover your expenses if you suffer injuries on the job.
Workers’ compensation laws are ever-evolving. An attorney can help you with your claim.