This year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week—themed “Safe Work Zones for All: Protect Workers. Protect Road Users.”— scheduled for April 20 - 24, 2020, reminds all drivers to watch out for state department of transportation (DOT) and private sector employees who work within inches of their vehicles. Extra attention is required for everyone's safety.
According to the federal DOT, a “work zone is an area of a highway with construction, maintenance, or utility work activities. A work zone is typically marked by signs, channelizing devices, barriers, pavement markings, and/or work vehicles.”
About 700 people, including over 100 workers, are killed every year in work zone accidents. That means nearly four in five of the victims are drivers and their passengers. More than 35,000 people are injured in work zones annually. Drivers using their cell phones are 4 TIMES more likely to be involved in a crash.
This year’s awareness event urges drivers to use extra caution in work zones. Educational focus points for this campaign, aimed at motorists, include:
The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) works with state DOTs and other associations to promote National Work Zone Awareness Week each April—the traditional start of the busy highway construction season.
Wednesday, April 22 is Go Orange Day 2020
All roadway safety professionals across the country are encouraged to wear orange on Wednesday, April 10 to proudly show their support of work zone safety. Go Orange Day and NWZAW is an important time to show your support of the roadway safety industry, especially to the families of victims who have lost their lives in work zones. Post your photos and videos to social media on April 22 with the hashtags #Orange4Safety and #NWZAW.
When driving through work zones, even the smallest mistake can be deadly. Take a look at these numbers:
Work Zone Safety is Everybody's Responsibility
Safety training and education is one of the best ways to raise awareness about Work Zone Safety. The team at Weeklysafety.com encourages you to have a Safety Meeting or Toolbox Talk on Work Zone Safety with your crews and employees. If your teams do roadside work, then this would be a great opportunity to review safe work zone procedures. If your employees do not do roadside work, then consider having a safety meeting on tips for driving through work zones, like these listed below.
These simple tips could save your life in a work zone:
The leading cause of highway construction worker injuries and fatalities is contact with construction vehicles, objects, and equipment. These injuries and deaths are preventable through a number of good practices. As our highway infrastructure ages, many transportation agencies are focusing on rebuilding and improving existing roadways. This means more roadwork is being performed on roadways that are open to traffic. At the same time, traffic continues to grow and create more congestion, particularly in urban areas. To avoid major queues during peak travel periods, urban areas are seeing more night work. The combination of more work done alongside increasingly heavier traffic and greater use of night work can result in increased safety considerations for highway workers. However, there are regulations and available resources on good practices that can help workers perform their jobs safely.
Visit the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration’s Work Zone Management Program to find a lot of great resources to improve your work zone safety program.
Click the button below to download the full toolkit to promote National Work Zone Awareness Week 2019. The toolkit includes a kick-off event planner, community outreach ideas for Go Orange Day, a Social Media Guide, and much more. Check it out!
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