When people think of construction-site injuries, they typically think of accidents involving on-site workers. And while a majority of these injuries do happen to workers, that isn’t the whole picture.
Unsafe construction sites are a danger not only to workers, but also to those walking on or in the vicinity of a construction site. Pedestrians can and do suffer injuries from a number of construction hazards, like loose or falling materials and crane collapses. Pedestrians also suffer injuries due to traffic in construction zones. While the burden of responsibility falls on the property owners, those in charge of the actual site or passing drivers, pedestrians can minimize their chances of suffering an injury by following a few safety tips.
Pedestrian Safety in Dallas Construction Zones
The American Traffic Safety Services Association says that between 2002 and 2006, around 15 percent of work-zone fatalities were pedestrians. One study from the DOT said that, on average, 2355 pedestrians were killed every year in construction work zones from 1996 to 2002. Pedestrian safety should be a major concern in every stage of a construction project. Pedestrians can be injured by a number of hazards in construction zones, including:
- Falling Objects (debris, scaffolding, cranes, etc.)
- Slick Floors
- Cluttered Walkways
- Sharp Objects
- Traffic Accidents.
Staying Safe Around Construction
Here are a few tips for pedestrians for safely navigating construction sites:
- Always be mindful of slick surfaces or cluttered walkways.
- Look for low-hanging objects that might present hazards.
- Avoid walking under scaffolding, especially if it is in use.
- Avoid distracted walking, especially when in work zones.
- Never touch the equipment or structures around construction sites.
- If at all possible, choose an alternate route.
- Report any hazardous conditions to local authorities or to workers on site.
Construction Planning For Pedestrian Safety
Construction companies and on-site workers should always make pedestrian safety a top priority. This means:
- Providing safe walkways and clearly marking these routes for pedestrians.
- Being mindful of traffic and pedestrian routes and avoiding conflicts between the two.
- Monitoring and inspecting traffic control devices.
- Reducing the amount of exposure pedestrians have to equipment and construction materials.
- Keeping a site free of debris and hazardous materials.
- Consider designating a worker whose chief responsibility is managing traffic flow and ensuring the safety of pedestrians.
- Provide guardrails and safety barriers whenever possible.
- Remember that the disabled, the elderly and children might especially be at risk for these injuries — special considerations should be made for these groups.
Not only do construction planners have a civic duty to ensure pedestrian safety, they are required to do so by the law. Every phase of planning and execution of construction projects should be conducted with safety in mind. In cities with high numbers of construction zones and pedestrians, like Dallas, the need for safety cannot be overstated.
If you have been injured due to construction site hazards, you might be able to receive compensation for your injuries. The Dallas personal injury attorneys at Guajardo & Marks can investigate your case to determine who is at fault and what they owe you in damages. Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you.