As the weather begins to take a turn towards warmer temperatures in Missouri, you are sure to see road crews starting to get hard at work to fix road problems that developed over the winter. These workers do a tough job. They are out in the elements every day working to make roads safer for you. In addition, they are also in danger every day they go to work because they work alongside traffic that is flowing along at high speeds. This sets the stage for accidents, which can seriously injure or kill a road construction worker.

Safety and Health Magazine reports that from 2001 to 2016 there were 532 road construction workers killed on the job. Half of these were due to accidents with vehicles or equipment. This means that drivers were not paying attention or were careless and took the lives of about 266 people.

This number was an increase of 43 percent from 2013 to 2016. The numbers were the highest in June and October. The most horrific aspect is most of these deaths were completely preventable.

To make road construction workers safer, employers and state transportation agencies need to work to create secure areas. They need to increase the visibility of workers and construction zones by adding more signs and barriers. They also should create warning systems to ensure drivers know a work zone is ahead. Enforcing speed limits is also essential in these work zones. Finally, if all else fails, roads should be closed when work is done. This information is for education and is not legal advice.