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Utility worker injury in Gaithersburg prompts tips from police

The systems that deliver our essential utilities tend to run along busy thoroughfares. That puts utility workers at particularly high risk of suffering serious injuries on the job. When they occur the first source of coverage to pay for recovery and lost wages is workers' compensation.

Because that coverage is so essential, it helps to have an attorney's assistance in making sure it's maximized. Among the options that a lawyer can help explore is the broader list of possible parties that bear responsibility for the injuries. A recent job site accident in Gaithersburg brings this to mind.

According to Montgomery County Police, a utility worker was pitched to the bottom of a 16-foot-deep hole after a Ride On bus hit a warning barrel, which then apparently hit the worker. He suffered serious injuries. Fortunately, they are not considered life threatening.

Authorities say they haven't determined whether to cite the driver of the Ride On bus for the accident. The case is still under investigation by police and the Maryland Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

With this incident and an influx of pedestrian-vehicle collisions in recent days, Montgomery County authorities issued the following tips for motorists and pedestrians.

  • Drivers are urged to slow down and be alert for pedestrians, especially at night or in bad weather.
  • If a pedestrian is in a marked crosswalk or intersection, vehicles must yield.
  • Motorists need to obey traffic signals and warning devices.
  • Pedestrians need to be alert, too. Don't assume drivers can see you. Consider wearing bright or reflective clothing.
  • If you're crossing a street, use crosswalks whenever they're available and look both ways before stepping off the curb.
  • Don't walk in the street.
  • Cellphone use while crossing the street can be as dangerous as while driving. Don't do it.

Source: WTOP, "Utility worker injured after being knocked into trench," Kate Ryan, Dec. 13, 2011

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