As road construction projects ramp up this spring, the Federal Highway Administration is partnering with OSHA, the American Traffic Safety Services Association, and other groups to encourage safe driving in work zones.
The campaign, called National Work Zone Awareness Week, is an annual event set for April 3-7 this year. Tragically, 700 people, including 130 workers, were killed in crashes at roadway worksites in 2015. Many states and localities across the country will hold events to bring attention to these hazards and encourage safe driving around work zones.
A national kick-off event is planned for April 4, at 10:30 a.m., at the Maryland state Randolph Road/Georgia Avenue Interchange Project. In addition, the Georgia Struck-By Alliance, which includes OSHA, will hold stand-downs at highway construction locations throughout Georgia this week to train workers on the dangers of distracted drivers and flying debris.
The Safety Stand-Down events encourage employers to voluntarily stop work for one hour at Georgia construction sites on a designated day to review best safety practices and discuss the hazards of objects and vehicles striking workers, the leading cause of roadside-related construction deaths. The events will take place from 7 to 8 a.m. EDT on the day chosen.
“Our alliance partners have come together to honor the working mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons who died because a driver risked a text message, a phone call or other distraction,” said Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA’s regional administrator for the Southeast. “The Safety Stand-Down events allow employers to identify hazards and how employees can avoid them. It also reminds the construction industry and the public at-large of the importance of safety in these work zones.”