With 2019 here, we finally get the chance to reflect on how many workers we lost in 2017. As frustrating as it can be to wait for a whole year before these statistics are final, it is necessary so the state can fully investigate these disasters and how we could make our workplaces safer as a result.
Colorado's 2017 death count has gone slightly down, showing that there are some areas that our state is improving in. However, most of the negative statistics from this report have something in common with each other; all of them involve vehicles or transportation in some capacity. Workers or families of employees who work with vehicles should be aware of these fatalities so they can take more precautions at their jobs.
Transportation deaths remain high
Colorado had a total of 77 occupational fatalities during 2017. 38 of them were transportation-related fatalities, accounting for half of the death count. Out of the 38, 29 of them were the result of roadway accidents.
For many, this may not come as much of a shock. Colorado may not have as many bad drivers and road conditions as Texas and Florida, but there are still plenty of factors that puts our state at a disadvantage when it comes to driver safety. Winters can be especially harsh here when compared to some of the neighbor states, and the state has also seen an increase in car crashes associated with legalized marijuana. Whether commercial drivers are experienced or not, some drive larger vehicles that make it difficult to navigate on the terrain or make them a bigger target for negligent drivers.
Construction deaths increase
The construction industry is already one of the most dangerous work fields to be in, but it got even worse for Colorado in 2017. There was a total of 19 fatalities, with nearly half of them coming from transportation incidents.
Unfortunately, many construction workers operate on the road and some end up getting hit by a negligent or impatient motorist. It's only been a few weeks into 2019 and there has already been a construction worker death on the road. Drivers need to slow down when they come across these areas and pay attention for signs warning them about the site ahead. There is little room to move or go fast in these areas, and with how prone to rage many Colorado drivers are, there end up being more victims as a result.
Even though Colorado does have plenty of road hazards that are not as common in other states, that does not excuse the amount of workers that have suffered for reckless road behavior. Family members of critically injured workers should consider seeking legal assistance to receive proper compensation for a worker's road injuries.