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Published: Spring, 2004; Vol 6, Num 2

 

Laborer rakes asphalt in paving operation (Photo: Earl Dotter).

Build Work Zone Safety Culture

Approximately one-third of work zone worker fatalities are unrelated to impacts by traffic intruders or by construction vehicles inside the work zone. These causes include contacts with overhead power lines, falls from machinery or structures, gas line explosions and struck-by falling objects or materials.

Each situation is different, and no general remedy will address these risks. The best protection is a highly trained workforce and supervisory personnel who continually stress the importance of safety awareness.

Hazards Addressed
In Roadway Safety Program

Electrical
Emergencies
Excavations
Falls
Flagging
Health Risks
Night Work
Noise
Operator Hazards
Working Outdoors
Sprains and Strains
Runovers and Backovers
Struck-Bys

Table 1

"We recommend that a safety meeting begin every shift," says LHSFNA Executive Director Joe Fowler. "That way, consciousness is raised everyday, worksite changes are reviewed and specific concerns can be addressed."

Improve Safety Training

The LHSFNA - in partnership with the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), the National Asphalt Paving Association (NAPA) and the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) - has developed a comprehensive, yet highly accessible Roadway Safety Program to help signatory contractors better train their workforce.

The program reviews major road work hazards (see Table 1), summarizing dangers and suggesting steps to prevent deaths, injuries and illnesses. The highly graphic presentation - available in both English and Spanish - is designed for use in toolbox talks or at orientation sessions for workers coming into a roadway work zone.

The complete program - which won the 2003 Work Zone Safety Training Award from the ARTBA and the National Safety Council - is available from the Work Zone Information Clearinghouse.

[Steve Clark]