Work Zone Safety Week

This week, through Apr 12, OSHA is partnering with the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, State of Georgia, and local government organizations and employers to sponsor safety stand-down events during National Highway Work Zone Awareness Week.

The events will focus on the dangers facing workers on road improvement and repair projects.

The stand-downs encourage employers at Georgia construction sites to stop work voluntarily from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. EDT, on a day during that week to review best safety practices, and discuss struck-by hazards. Learn more about roadwork safety, and register your company’s event at the Georgia’s Struck-By Alliance Safety Stand-Down page.

“Many roadway workers are injured in work zones every year,” said OSHA Atlanta Regional Administrator Kurt A. Petermeyer. “OSHA, working with the Georgia Struck-By Alliance, encourages employers to provide proper training and greater awareness of potential hazards to protect these workers from serious injuries and fatalities.”

Meantime, according to a survey released by the National Safety Council and the Emergency Responder Safety Institute, 71% of U.S. drivers take photos or videos when they see an emergency vehicle on the side of the road responding to a fire or a crash, or simply making a routine traffic stop.

Sixty percent post to social media, and 66% send an email about the situation – all while behind the wheel.

Those distracting behaviors are markedly less frequent, but still alarming, during normal driving conditions – 24% of drivers surveyed said they take photos or video while driving, 29% admitted to using social media and 24% said they send email.

Worse still, 16% – more than 1 in 10 – said they either have struck or nearly struck a first responder or emergency vehicle stopped on or near the road. In spite of all this, 89% of drivers say they believe distracted motorists are a major source of risk to first responders.

NSC is releasing the survey during Distracted Driving Awareness Month, observed every April to raise awareness and educate about the importance of being attentive behind the wheel.

Funding for the survey was provided to the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association through the FEMA Fire Prevention and Firefighter Safety Grant Program.