If you work in a construction work zone in or around Cincinnati, OH, you know how dangerous your job is. When you put on your hard hat each day, you put your life on the line to improve our communities’ infrastructure.
Work zones are dangerous for all workers involved, but this is by no means a new problem. Many attempts have been made to protect workers specifically in transportation construction work zones throughout the years. Maybe you have seen the signs reading “Slow Down: My Mommy/Daddy Works Here” in a child’s handwriting. These were meant to remind motorists that the men and women working on the side of the road are not just men and women but mothers and fathers with families who are depending on them. The signs are meant to encourage motorists to slow down to a safer speed and thus save lives.
Do they work? Perhaps they achieve their goal for some but not for all.
ODOT’s Transportation Worker Safety Campaign
In the summer of 2015, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) again made an attempt to protect workers. They implemented a social media campaign to raise awareness about the dangers construction workers face on the roads. The state of Ohio has a “Move Over” law that requires motorists to move over and slow down for vehicles with flashing lights, which includes highway work crews, that are on the side of the road.
The campaign’s most recent video shares the tragic story of Mark Kiper, an ODOT seasonal worker who was killed in 1997 when his work crew truck was hit by another truck [the video is no longer available on the ODOT website]. His is not the only story, however. As they acknowledged in their video, 161 ODOT workers have given their lives to provide a safe transportation system for Ohio motorists. In 2014, there were 5,100 work zone crashes, 1,000 injuries, and 17 deaths. So far in 2015, there have already been 25 fatalities in Ohio’s roadside work zones.
All of these initiatives are great, but the fact of the matter remains that most motorists do not slow down enough, nor do they move over, to accommodate roadside workers, which can place road workers in grave danger. Persons injured during these kinds of accidents should pursue worker compensation claims.
Construction Ends at Fields Ertel and I-71 in Mason
Greater Cincinnati and Hamilton County are home to numerous construction zones, transportation and non-transportation. With Governor Kasich’s $2.4 billion investment in transportation construction alone this year, we will continue to see more and more work zones popping up on Ohio’s roadways, and we will continue to fight for the compensation our Ohio workers deserve after injuries or fatalities that occur on the job. The workers’ compensation system is one of great complexity and should only be maneuvered with the expertise of a skilled attorney who focuses solely on workers’ compensation in Ohio.
One specific construction zone that is recently coming to a close is the construction of the loop ramp to relieve the congestion at the Fields Ertel/Mason-Montgomery intersection off of I-71. This was a very important project that should bring about much better traffic flow for Ohio drivers, and we want to honor the workers who risked their lives every day at this site by encouraging any and all injured workers to come forward and report their injuries and accidents as soon as they occur. If you know someone who has lost his or her life in a Hamilton County or other Ohio roadway work zone, contact a Cincinnati workers’ compensation attorney for legal representation.
At The Harris Firm, we will always watch out for our Ohio workers and do our very best to bring them and their families relief and justice after their work-related injuries. Click here to read more about how we help people like you.