As most Pennsylvania residents probably know, the construction industry is one of the most dangerous in the country and makes workers vulnerable to injuries or death from a wide variety of circumstances and environments. Imagine a worker’s surprise, however, when an entirely unforeseen danger suddenly presents itself and causes severe injury.
Recently, in Bedford, a construction worker was badly injured when he was struck by a criminal suspect’s vehicle in a construction zone on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. According to the Pennsylvania State Police, the worker was injured when the suspect, an Altoona man, was attempting to elude police officers during a high-speed chase. Officers say the suspect was speeding in the 55 mile per hour construction zone when they began chasing him. They allege he reached speeds of 110 miles per hour. The injured worker reportedly suffered life-threatening injuries-broken ribs, a broken leg and a collapsed lung-and is currently being treated in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Altoona.
The driver who is allegedly responsible for the injury not only hit and injured the worker, but also endangered many other motorists on the road, causing a chain reaction of accidents and sending a police cruiser into a barrier near a toll booth. Police say his initial violation probably would have landed him nothing more than a few speeding tickets. Now, the man faces multiple criminal charges, including drug possession.
This incident is something no worker could have reasonably anticipated. The most common causes of construction workers‘ accidents are slips, falls, fires and chemical exposures, which can lead to fractures, cuts and burns. Although most workers accept that risk is a regular and routine part of their jobs, they also expect their employers to provide as much protection as possible through worker education, standardized processes and properly working safety equipment.
Source: WJACTV.com, “Construction worker seriously injured after being hit during police chase,” April 28, 2015