ARTBA Honors Outstanding Efforts to Improve Roadway Work Zone Safety

Eight public- and private-sector organizations are recognized for their commitment to promoting safety

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The American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s Transportation Development Foundation (ARTBA-TDF) recognized eight public and private sector organizations for their commitment to promoting safety during the association’s 15th annual "Roadway Work Zone Safety Awareness Awards" during its National Convention in Milwaukee, WI.

The competition recognizes outstanding programs, campaigns and technologies aimed at helping reduce roadway work zone accidents, injuries and fatalities. Winners were announced in three categories:

  • Outreach Campaigns: Recognizes efforts that promote roadway work zone safety through implementation of employee and/or public education campaigns on a national, state or local level.
  • Training Programs: Honors state and local educational programs that promote worker safety on the job site.
  • Innovations in Technology: Recognizes the import role that technology plays in improving safety in and around work zones with innovative products and methodologies or innovative applications to existing products and methodologies.

Outreach Campaign/National Level – First Place

DBi Services, LLC: “National Work Zone Safety Week Billboard & High School Outreach Program”

In conjunction with National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, DBi Services sponsored a series of billboard ads and roadway message boards to remind the motoring public of the importance of driving cautiously in work zones. The billboards appeared along stretches of highway in Florida and Virginia that had the potential to reach 180,000 motorists per week. DBi employees also distributed over 5,000 work zone safety “fact sheets” at rest areas near construction sites and in an effort to educate new drivers on the need to drive cautiously, the company sponsored industry expert presentations to high school students about the dangers of driving in work zones.

Outreach Campaign/State Level – First Place

Missouri Department of Transportation (MDOT): “Don’t Zone Out.”

For over a decade, MDOT has been committed to conducting major safety campaigns to reduce work zone-related crashes around stationary, long-term construction projects, but with an increasingly maintenance-focused program, the agency decided to launch it’s “Don’t Zone Out” campaign, shifting awareness to help motorists identify and safely navigate non-traditional, short-term, moving highway operations. The program aimed to educate the public that “not all work zones look alike” and about the state’s “Slow Down and Move Over” law. It included a series of TV and radio public service announcements, YouTube videos, internet ads, social media posts, distribution of safety materials at rest areas, and a series of news conferences.

Outreach Campaign/State Level – Second Place

Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT): “Be Safe. Drive Smart.”

The recent boom in oil and gas production in Texas has created thousands of new jobs and many new opportunities for communities throughout the state, which in turn, has led to a dramatic increase in traffic. To protect its employees and the motoring public, TxDOT, in partnership with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), launched the “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” Campaign. It urged drivers to buckle up; drive a safe speed; pass carefully; always stop at red lights and stop signs; and avoid using cell phones while driving. The safety messages were delivered in a variety of different ways, including paid advertising on television, radio, billboards, and gas pumps. Since launching last March, the effort generated 48 broadcast news stories, 38 newspapers articles and 32 online news stories.

Outreach Campaign/Local Level – First Place

Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT): “I-15 CORE Lane Split Education Campaign”

Safely maintaining traffic during the 24-mile, $1.72 billion I-15 Corridor expansion was a top priority for UDOT and Provo River Constructors. Rather than reducing portions of I-15 from four to three lanes to complete paving operations, the team implemented plans to “split” traffic lanes around specific construction zones for four months, reducing traffic congestion and delays. UDOT communicated to drivers how to safely navigate the new configurations using a variety of tools, including radio ads, an online instructional video, direct mail and a romantic comedy “movie trailer” that appeared in four theater locations in Utah County. More than 250,000 cinema audience members viewed the trailer. Paid media efforts also generated nearly 350,000 impressions, and the online instructional video was viewed over 8,000 times. Of the nearly 130,000 vehicles that drove the area daily, there were no significant increases in the number of crashes during the lane splits, when compared to the standard four-lane configuration in place before construction began.

Training Programs/National Level – First Place

DBi Services, LLC: “Work Zone Safety Training”

Each year, DBi Services demonstrates its commitment to company-wide safety by hosting a two-day, off-site training session that teaches employees safe operations while working in and around moving traffic. The training event provides both classroom style and hands-on tactical training. Project managers and staff for each construction site expand on what is learned, by holding monthly half-day “Toolbox Safety Talks” that focus on job-specific safety issues. Area managers at all project sites also hold weekly safety meetings by based on safety bulletins issued by the corporate safety department regarding timely topics. Daily “tailgate” style meetings are also held by crew foreman prior to the start of each day with a discussion about the risks that may be associated with the jobs being done that day. DBi Services also has an award winning E-learning website where employees can continue their safety training at their own pace.

Training Programs/State Level – First Place

Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA): “Traffic Manager's Training Course”

Realizing that proper design of traffic control is a vital first step in providing a safe work zone environment, the Maryland SHA put together an experienced safety staff team with in-depth technical and non-technical knowledge of work zone traffic control practices to develop a formal safety training course for field supervisors and crew leaders responsible for work zone set-up. They developed the “Temporary Traffic Control Managers Training Course” to provide on-site supervisors with fundamental knowledge of temporary traffic control best practices, standards, specifications, and typical applications. To ensure understanding, the course also allows for small group problem solving exercises, followed by a written exam.

Training Programs/Local Level – First Place

North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA): “Maintenance Department Safety Program”

After an accident investigation in 2010 revealed a lack of a focused safety culture, the NTTA decided to get its employees more involved in the safety planning process by establishing a Safety Management System. It comprised of committees and subcommittees made up of employees selected by their colleagues. The goal: improve communication between employee supervisor, manager, and administration and build mutual trust and shared perceptions of the importance of safety. Three years after “planting the seed,” the agency is seeing its safety culture shift. Ideas are now being brought forward by staff resulting in revised personal protection gear, new tailgate sheeting for vehicles, the purchase of two mobile barrier trailers, the use of rumble strips in work zones, and the development of a barrel delivery truck for safer work zone set up and take down. The program has also generated advanced training for new hires, on the job training programs for all employees, and persistent reminders of “how not to become a statistic.” The number of preventable accidents has dropped from 72 in 2010 to 60 in 2012. In the first half of 2013, only 18 preventable incidents occurred.

Training Programs/Local Level – Second Place

Provo River Constructors, a Joint-Venture Company: “I-15 Corridor Expansion Project”

As the design-builder of the Utah Department of Transportation’s $1.1 billion, I-15 Corridor Expansion (I-15 CORE) in Utah County, Provo River Constructors (PRC) rebuilt 24 miles of interstate freeway, constructed 10 interchanges and replaced 63 bridges in just 35 months – all while keeping 130,000 daily vehicles moving. With an aggressive construction schedule and the need to keep traffic moving, PRC developed a comprehensive program that all employees adopted in their daily work, ensuring that the crew’s safety was paramount to the success of the project. PRC utilized a total integration safety process in which each individual on the project participated in the development and implementation of safe work plans. It consisted of daily and weekly meetings, jobsite inspections, accident investigations, medical treatment management, and tracking of pre-and post-incident indicators, as well as the administration of more than 30 safety specific training programs. As a result, more than 7.3 million work-hours were performed with zero fatalities. The team achieved one million work-hours without a recordable incident, and on four separate occasions achieved one million work-hours without a lost-time incident. PRC’s safety record was four-times better than the national industry average.