AGC Will Provide Highway Work Zone Safety Training Classes in 2015

Money from a federal grant will allow the association to offer the highway work zone safety program in eight different locations beginning in January 2015

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The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) will provide highway work zone safety training classes next year thanks to a federal safety grant the association earned. The association will use the $135,000 Susan Harwood Training Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to offer the safety training classes designed to prevent injuries among highway, street and bridge construction workers, officials said.

"No amount of safety gear will protect a worker if they get hit by a speeding vehicle," said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer. "The best defense from crashes is teaching crews how to set up and operate safer work zones"

According to the latest federal safety data, 962 workers were killed at road construction sites between 2003 and 2010. Meanwhile, a survey conducted by the association last spring found that 45 percent of contractors had vehicles crash into their work zones during the past year. Even worse, workers are injured in 20 percent of those crashes and killed in 6 percent of those crashes.

The highway work zone safety program will be offered in eight different locations beginning in January 2015. Sandherr added that association expects the training to have the impact of reaching and protecting thousands of workers on hundreds of jobsites by incorporating best practices that will be used over and over. The program will provide comprehensive information about proper set up of highway work zones, flagger safety and heavy equipment management, he added.