When the 2005 highway bill – SAFETEA-LU – was passed, it set aside 2.5 percent of its $286.4 billion budget for safety issues, training and research. For the first time, it also require the use of “proper temporary traffic control devices” to improve safety in highway work zones.
FHWA Grant Partners
Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America
Laborers-AGC Education and Training Fund
American Road and Transportation Builders Association
National Asphalt Pavement Association
International Union of Operating Engineers
American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials
Texas Transportation Institute
SAFETEA-LU is a large program that will generate thousands of
jobs for Laborers. It is important that these jobs are in safe work zones protecting our members,” says LIUNA General President Terence M. O’Sullivan. “Research has shown how work zone accidents happen and suggests they can be prevented. It’s our job to find ways to translate research into effective programs to eliminate hazards on highway projects and allow our members to go home to their families at the end of their workday.”
Intent on building on the success of the popular Roadway Safety Program, the LHSFNA and the Laborers-AGC Education and Training Fund united most of the key organizations in highway construction and submitted a winning plan for a $4.1 million training grant.
Work will begin on improving and expanding the quality of safety training materials, particularly for those responsible for the set up and maintenance of highway work zones. In this regard, the Roadway Safety Program will serve as both a means and a model for extended training. While a number of refinements will be made to the present training materials, a companion CD, aimed at supervisors and management personnel, will also be developed. Then, in the final years of the grant, concerted efforts will be made to advance both worker and supervisor training on all fronts throughout the highway construction industry.
“Better training resources will allow the industry to raise the safety skills and consciousness of everyone working in highway construction and repair,” says Walter Jones, the LHSFNA OSH Associate Division Director. “That means safer worksites for Laborers, lower costs for signatory employers and improved safety for the driving public.”