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Legislation seeks to protect Minnesota road construction workers

Minnesotans are used to dealing frequent road construction projects. Although obeying orange construction zone signs may be seemingly automatic for some drivers, readers may be surprised to know the level of risk road construction workers face every day.

Recently, a Minnesota legislator introduced a bill that would make it illegal for motorists to use their cell phones in road-work zones. Minnesota law already forbids texting and driving, but this proposal would make it illegal to use phones for any purpose (including calls) on certain parts of the road. The hope is that this will reduce the frequency of another major distraction for drivers.

Officials from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety say that there have been about 26,000 car accidents in highway work zones during the past five years. A shocking 4,000 injuries and 41 deaths have resulted from these crashes across the state.

Although workplace accidents are never a welcome occurrence, it's helpful for people to understand that coverage may be available in the event of an injury. Workers' compensation claims can typically be filed for injuries suffered in the normal course of job-related duties. Unfortunately, this area of law can be rather complex, especially when claims are denied. Despite claims being turned down, employees may be able to pursue an appeal to receive valuable support.

Clearly, road workers face a risk of injury on the job, much like anyone who works in the construction industry. Roads are something that many Minnesota residents take advantage of every day. Knowing this, drivers should devote the amount of attention necessary to ensure the safety of everyone on the road -- especially workers.

Source: KSTP.com, "New Minn. Law Would Ban Cellphone Use in Work Zones," Tim Sherno, Feb. 9, 2014

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