Characteristics of worker accidents on NYSDOT construction projects

Academic Article


  • Introduction: This paper aims at providing cost-effective safety measures to protect construction workers in highway work zones, based on real data. Two types of accidents that occur in work zones were: (a) construction work area accidents, and (b) traffic accidents involving construction worker(s). A detailed analysis of work zone accidents involving 36 fatalities and 3,055 severe injuries to construction workers on New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) construction projects from 1990 to 2001 established that five accident types: (a) Struck/Pinned by Large Equipment, (b) Trip or Fall (elevated), (c) Contact w/Electrical or Gas Utility, (d) Struck-by Moving/Falling Load, and (e) Crane/Lift Device Failure accounted for nearly 96% of the fatal accidents, nearly 63% of the hospital-level injury accidents, and nearly 91% of the total costs. These construction work area accidents had a total cost of $133.8 million. Traffic accidents that involve contractors' employees were also examined. Statistical analyses of the traffic accidents established that five traffic accident types: (a) Work Space Intrusion, (b) Worker Struck-by Vehicle Inside Work Space, (c) Flagger Struck-by Vehicle, (d) Worker Struck-by Vehicle Entering/Exiting Work Space, and (e) Construction Equipment Struck-by Vehicle Inside Work Space accounted for nearly 86% of the fatal, nearly 70% of the hospital-level injury and minor injury traffic accidents, and $45.4 million (79.4%) of the total traffic accident costs. The results of this paper provide real statistics on construction worker related accidents reported on construction work zones. Potential preventions based on real statistics have also been suggested. The ranking of accident types, both within the work area as well as in traffic, will guide the heavy highway contractor and owner agencies in identifying the most cost effective safety preventions. © 2005 National Safety Council and Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Mohan S; Zech WC
  • Start Page

  • 353
  • End Page

  • 360
  • Volume

  • 36
  • Issue

  • 4