Construction workers in the U.S. had the most work-related deaths in 2014. According to the Center for Construction Research and Training, in the U.S. Springfield’s Labors Union Local 477, over 900 construction workers were killed last year. In the past five years, Illinois has seen nine fatalities.

What is causing the uptick in deaths among road construction workers? According to the workers, it’s distracted driving, such as texting and talking on a cellphone while drivers are in a work zone. One worker said, “It’s ridiculous because we all know it’s against the law. It’s also playing with my life and everybody else’s life is at jeopardy when we’re on these jobs.”

Workers want drivers to slow down, especially during the winter months. Using extra precaution may help save a life. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, deaths from work-related accidents have increased from 12 fatal injuries to 38 each day.

When a worker is injured or killed in a workplace accident, he or she and his or her family may be entitled to certain benefits under workers’ compensation laws. A victim may quickly rack up medical expenses, lose a lot in terms of wages and even be unable to return to work. The family of a worker who died will likely experience financial difficulties as well. Death benefits can help with some of that burden.

If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, an attorney can help you file an appeal. Should a third party be responsible for the accident and resulting injuries or death, then a lawsuit might be filed against him or her.

Source: illinoishomepage.net, “Road work can be deadly occupation,” Emilee Fannon, Dec. 02, 2015