Highway maintenance work has to be some of the most dangerous anyone can
perform. Besides being outdoors in the worst possible Pennsylvania weather
conditions, these workers are exposed to the constant risk of workplace
injury from a constant onslaught of multi-ton vehicles hurtling past them,
sometimes at excessive speed. It's no surprise that many get
injured on the job.
This is brought to mind by news of two highway workers who wound up in
the hospital recently. They were 30 feet up in the air on a truck basket
platform when a tractor-trailer rolled by and clipped their equipment.
Officials in suburban Buffalo, New York, where this happened said the
pair was thrown from the platform and plunged to the ground. They'd
been replacing a banner across the road when it happened.
Neither of the two men, aged 46 and 52, reportedly suffered injuries that
are considered life threatening. That's fortunate. But their injuries
were serious enough that they were rushed to the hospital for treatment.
At the time we are writing this post, it's not known how they're
doing or when they might be well enough to return to their jobs.
The driver of the semi has been cited for driving an oversized vehicle.
The nature of this workplace accident offers an example of how complicated
it can become when it comes time to assign responsibility. Because the
men were on the job, they have the right to seek workers' compensation
for their injuries. That may go some way toward ensuring that they and
their families aren't stymied by horrendous medical bills and loss
But because a commercial vehicle appears to have been a key factor in the
matter, the scope of potential responsibility expands. Drivers licensed
to operate commercial vehicles are subject to greater regulatory demands
because of the unique risks their vehicles represent to people on Pennsylvania roads.
With the driver having been cited by authorities for oversized load, it's
possible that he could be held personally liable to some extent for the
injuries inflicted. In addition, the company who hired him may be culpable as well.
Source: Claims Journal, "2 Western New York Highway Workers Hurt in Accident," Oct. 3, 2012