Which Construction Zones are the Most Dangerous?

May 22

It’s well known that construction zones—whether on the road, on a building site, or at another location — can be an extremely dangerous place to be. However, it’s necessary for construction workers and the general public to frequent these areas. Construction is vital to our infrastructure and way of life. 

Construction zones can be very dangerous places for workers and the public alike. From heavy equipment and vehicles moving around to the use of potentially hazardous materials, many areas within construction zones pose a risk to everyone in the area. However, some areas are more dangerous than others.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), construction is one of the most dangerous industries in which someone can work. As a result, construction workers frequently suffer injuries related to falls, falling objects, heavy machinery, and more. 

However, after construction workers leave the site and go home each day, many hazards on the construction site remain, leaving the public at risk of accidents and injuries. Some of these dangers may exist due to negligence, and the company responsible should compensate any victims who suffer injury because of unnecessary hazards.

People injured within construction zones, no matter where the construction zone is or what part of the construction zone they were injured in, may deserve compensation for their injuries. Injured parties should consult with an experienced construction accident attorney as soon as possible after learning of their injuries. 


The Most Dangerous Areas of Construction Zones

The Perimeter

One of the most hazardous areas within a construction zone is the perimeter. Where the boundaries of the construction site are established is often where heavy machinery and equipment are moved in and out. A person can easily be hit or crushed by a vehicle or piece of equipment in these areas, especially if those operating the machinery aren’t paying attention or don’t know how to work the equipment properly. 


Excavation Sites and Trenches

Another dangerous area within a construction zone is where excavation work takes place, as well as trenches. Excavation sites have large holes dug to lay foundations or install utilities. Anyone in the area is at risk of falling into the hole or getting hit by falling debris. Workers in these areas should always wear appropriate safety gear, including hard hats and reflective clothing. Workers who are working in trenches and excavations are at risk of being buried alive if the walls collapse. These construction accidents can result in suffocation, internal injuries, and death.


High-Rise Sites or Heights in General

High-rise construction sites and working at heights also pose significant risks. Construction workers on high-rise sites are exposed to fall hazards, as well as risks associated with working at heights. Workers who are working at elevated heights are at significant risk of falling. Falls from heights can result in serious injuries, including broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and even death. Safety harnesses and other protective equipment should always be used in these areas. 

Which Construction Zones are the Most Dangerous?


Areas with Hazardous Materials

Areas where hazardous materials are used or stored can also be hazardous. Chemical spills, fires, and explosions are all potential risks in these areas. Construction workers may interact with toxic materials ranging from toxic airborne materials that may affect respiration to chemical spills that could release toxic fumes or burns. If construction workers don’t follow proper safety protocols when working with hazardous materials and know the location of emergency equipment and exits, the dangers increase even more. 


Some of the toxic materials that construction workers and those in the area may be exposed to include:


  • Lead. The human body can absorb lead when inhaling lead-contaminated dust, fumes, or mist. Lead can potentially be present in roofs, tank linings, cornices, paint, or electrical conduits.
  • Asbestos. This dangerous and well-known substance is a carcinogen that can be absorbed when a construction worker ingests contaminated airborne materials.
  • Chromium. Hexavalent chromium could be ingested through contaminated dust, fumes, or mists and direct eye or skin contact.
  • Cadmium. Exposure to cadmium may occur by breathing contaminated dust, fumes, or mists or via skin absorption.


Areas With Electrical Equipment

Construction sites often have unfinished electrical systems, ungrounded wires, and more. The construction crew should take all necessary precautions to keep all potentially hazardous wires away from the perimeter of the site and to keep barriers around the perimeter to shield the public from contact with these dangerous conditions. If these precautions aren’t taken, bystanders and pedestrians can easily suffer injuries due to electrocution. Electricians and other workers who handle electrical equipment are typically at risk of electrocution, which can cause burns, cardiac arrest, and other serious injuries.


Around Heavy Machinery

Most construction sites are full of heavy machinery, and workers who operate these machinespeople are at risk of being struck by them. Not only so, but they can also be injured in other ways if a machine malfunctions or is improperly used. These types of accidents can lead to severe injuries, including broken bones, internal injuries, and even death.

Which Construction Zones are the Most Dangerous?


Scaffolding is a common and convenient feature on many construction sites. However, it can be extremely dangerous if not set up correctly. Workers who fall from scaffolding can suffer serious injuries, including broken bones, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries.


Confined Spaces

Construction workers who are working in confined spaces are at risk of suffocation, as well as exposure to toxic gasses and other hazards. Heat-related conditions are more common in more confined spaces.


Areas Where Welding Occurs

Welding can be dangerous due to the high temperatures and sparks that are produced. Anyone welding or in the vicinity of welding equipment who isn’t adequately protected can suffer burns, blindness, and other serious injuries.

Construction zones can be dangerous places, but with proper safety measures, accidents can be prevented. Workers and pedestrians should always be aware of their surroundings and take necessary precautions to stay safe.


The Most Dangerous Areas of Road Construction Zones

Even when construction zones are well-planned out and executed, many dangers still exist. The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) reports that the number of fatalities in crashes occurring in construction and maintenance work zones between 1982 and 2019 was 28,636 people or approximately 774 per year.


Construction zones are hazardous places for drivers and construction workers to be. The temporary lane shifts, changes in speed, large pieces of construction equipment, and workers in the area can all create risks. Loose gravel, tar, or sticky oil in these areas can also create potential accident hazards for motorists. Construction zones are also popular common places for impatient drivers and road rage that can cause accidents. Anyone driving through a construction zone must be fully alert and ready for hazardous conditions. 


Speed limits are reduced to protect workers’ safety in construction zones. Despite this, many motorists speed through these areas, hitting cones, barricades, and other obstacles. When they do this, it can cause the cones or other debris to fly into the middle of the road. 


In road construction zones, construction workers and heavy machinery are often in close proximity to traffic. Drivers need to slow down and pay attention to any signs or flaggers directing traffic, which helps protect everyone in and around the construction zone. 


The Start and End of the Construction Zone

Where the construction zone begins and ends can be extremely dangerous. It’s a tricky area for drivers as they can often be caught off guard by changes in traffic patterns or lane closures. These areas require a driver’s full attention and quick decision-making and actions. If they aren’t prepared for them, they can cause severe accidents and injuries to construction workers and other motorists.


Areas of Altered Road Surfaces

Areas where the road surface has been altered, such as where asphalt has been removed or new pavement has been laid down, can be particularly treacherous. These areas of the road can be uneven or slippery, requiring drivers to slow down and use caution when driving through them. 



Intersections are already dangerous places on the road, even without construction zones. When a construction zone involves an intersection, it can make the intersection even more confusing and trickier to navigate. There’s also already a lot of traffic and often pedestrians and bicyclists at or near intersections, increasing the risk of someone getting injured. 


Who Can File a Lawsuit for Construction Accident Injuries?

An injured individual not employed by the construction company or other company liable for their injuries can file a personal injury lawsuit with the help of an Indiana construction accident lawyer. However, it can become more complicated if the victim is an employee. If this is the case, the employee should file a workers’ compensation claim. If the claim is denied or not approved for the amount it should be, a personal injury attorney might be able to help you. 


Otherwise, filing a workers’ compensation claim means accessing those benefits instead of filing a legal claim. However, itIt is critical that you know about the potential to seek compensation from a third party. The third party isn’t you or your employer,is someone else that could be held liable for your injuries. Because they are a third party, you are allowed to file a lawsuit against them. Third parties who might have liability for your injuries and damages include but aren’t limited to:


  • Contractors
  • Sub-contractors
  • Companies that manufacture tools and machinery


Workers’ compensation doesn’t cover non-workers who are injured on or near construction sites. However, injured non-employees could file a lawsuit against the construction company or other parties involved in their accident.


If you think you might have a third party or workers’ compensation claim or just want someone to review it to find out, reach out to an Indiana construction accident lawyer as soon as possible after sustaining an injury.


Who is Liable if an Individual is Injured by Construction Site Debris While Walking on a Public Sidewalk?

Depending on the situation, the injured individual might be able to recover compensation from the construction company. This is because they companies have a duty to take reasonable steps to keep public sidewalks near their site free from bricks and any other debris. For example, suppose the company doesn’t remove the obstructions they created, and a person trips and falls. In that case, the company may be held liable for their injuries. Construction companies should also notify nearby pedestrians that they risk serious injury if they stray from the sidewalk. Merely putting up a warning sign is typically sometimes not enough. If a company fails to place things such as barriers or warning lamps by a building pit, it could be liable if someone falls into it and is injured.


Suppose If you were injured at or near a construction site but didn’t work there. In that case, you should contact an experienced Indiana construction accident attorney as soon as possible. They can review the circumstances and discuss your legal rights and options.


Do I Need an Indiana Construction Accident Lawyer after a Construction Accident?

When it comes to construction accident cases, Indiana’s personal injury laws can be highly complex. If you were injured in onea construction zone, you need a seasoned Indiana construction accident lawyer who can help determine who was at fault for your accident. If you wait too long and the statute of limitations expires, you won’t be able to recover any damages that you are entitled to receive. 


It is always wise to meet with a construction accident attorney as soon as possible to learn what you are may be entitled to. Doing so will also provide you with the best chance of recovering fair compensation to cover all of your losses.


Were You Injured in a Construction Accident? Contact Blackburn Romey Today for Help

No matter if your injury occurred in a workplace construction accident, on the road, or in some other place, you likely may deserve compensation for your injuries. The easiest way to find out is to schedule a consultation with one of our qualified Indiana construction accident attorneys. Call us at 833.264.0903 or use our online contact form to schedule yours. 


Tom Blackburn

Blackburn Romey founding partner Tom Blackburn graduated with honors receiving a degree from Indiana University at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Initiating his legal career in 1977, he has been active in practicing law and currently serves as a member of the Indiana State Bar Association on the Ethics and Advertising Committees, the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, as a board member at the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, and as an appointed member of the Executive Committee for the State of Indiana for the National Trial Lawyers Association.

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