The old phrase “out of sight, out of mind” is not an option for being safe, according to winners of the 13th annual Roadway Work Zone Safety Awareness Awards. Sponsored by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s Transportation Development Foundation (ARTBA-TDF), the competition recognized outstanding programs aimed at helping reduce roadway work zone accidents, injuries and fatalities.
The following winners of the competition’s national/regional outreach programs category highlight the role employee and public education and training programs can play in reducing jobsite accidents. They also demonstrate that getting the word out has few if any bounds when it comes to the target audience and message vehicle.
It’s a fact
Workers and the driving public, including teenage drivers, were recipients of CH2M HILL’s work zone safety message titled, “Work Zone Safety – Driving to Zero.” Last year’s multi-faceted campaign involved creating fact sheets, participating in public awareness events with state departments of transportation, and distributing orange cones and children work zone safety activity books in schools.
“Over 70 percent of the fatalities in work zones are drivers and not part of a work crew,” explains CH2M HILL health and safety communications/outreach manager David Hancock. “When you get the safety message out, you’re saving lives and helping everyone in the community.”
As part of its campaign, the Colorado-based company created three fact sheets, one each for teenage drivers, adult drivers, and workers. Disseminated in schools, and public awareness events, and within the company, the fact sheets reviewed important safety tips for each of the three demographics.
Among tips, the fact sheets prompted adults to stay alert in construction zones, turn on the car’s headlights, and avoid tailgating. Teenage drivers were reminded to avoid distractions such as changing radio stations, using their iPod, and texting or talking on their cell phone while driving. They were also encouraged to practice driving through work zones with their parents prior to getting their driver’s license. As the fact sheet indicated, “It is good practice for getting familiar about work zone speeds and changes in the roadways.”
CH2M HIll noted that “A majority of worker fatalities in work zones occur when workers are hit by equipment.” Hence, workers’ fact sheets reminded them to make sure everyone on site knew the whereabouts of each other at all times. Wearing retro-reflective personal protective equipment, implementing a Traffic Control Plan, and ensuring adequate separation between workers and traffic were among other safety tips.
As part of National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week last year, company employees also distributed orange foam cones throughout their offices, at public awareness events, and at high schools throughout Colorado, Texas and Virginia, along with the company’s Work Zone Safety – Driving to Zero poster.
“This is the third year CHM2 HILL has won an award for work zone safety outreach and awareness, and the campaign continues to grow, especially within schools where teachers and parents want this information,” adds Hancock. “So many people are needlessly dying in work zone incidents.”
Video addresses safe trailer towing
To reduce the number of trailer incidents on jobsites around the country, Connecticut-based Lane Construction Corporation produced a “Safe Trailer Towing Operations for Non-Commercial Vehicles” training video. “The 30-minute presentation reviews all aspects of towing a trailer safely,” explains corporate safety training manager Casey Heberling. “It addresses everything from pre-use inspection of the towing vehicle and trailer and the proper use of safety chains through tagging damaged equipment, identifying hazards during trailer connection, and operating vehicles at a safe towing speed.”