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Injured, killed road workers honored yesterday in Minnesota

If you were asked to name some of the most dangerous jobs in Minnesota, what would you say? If highway construction worker came to mind, you would be spot-on. Every day that highway workers are on the road, they are at risk for serious injury. Despite using bright orange cones, large signs and flashing arrows to direct traffic around them, all it takes is one distracted driver to cause a catastrophic accident.

In the last four years, an alarming 7,000 crashes have happened in work zones across Minnesota. In those crashes, 37 people were killed and several others were injured. Yesterday, on Workers' Memorial Day, those individuals were honored and remembered in ceremonies held in Chaska.

As the lives of those lost due to highway work-zone accidents are honored and remembered, it is important to understand how these workplace accidents can be avoided. A major factor in ensuring the safety of highway construction workers is other drivers. Motorists across Minnesota can play their part by slowing down in construction zones and avoiding distraction.

As we have discussed in other posts, however, employers can also play a role in protecting their workers. Whether that means making sure workers have the best protective gear to wear while working on the road or providing comprehensive training before allowing an employee to work on the road, employers are responsible for keeping workers safe.

If a worker is injured on the job, he or she is entitled to seek workers' compensation from an employer. Workers' compensation can help provide the financial assistance an injured worker needs to pay for medical bills and get by during any necessary time off the job. Because the process can be a bit complicated, especially when an employer doesn't want to offer compensation, it is useful to work with an attorney.

Source: Public News Service, "Remembering Highway Workers Injured and Killed on the Job," John Michaelson, April 28, 2014

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