Did you know that there are hundreds of fatalities each year due to work zone crashes involving a truck, bus, pedestrian, or worker? Unfortunately, the number of accidents and fatalities increases each year.
Why, and how can we stop work zone hazards on the road? If every person who gets behind the wheel took a moment to scan their surroundings while driving and, while off the road, educate themselves on work zone safety, everyone can go home to their families safely!
Learning more about work zone safety by reading up on the latest tips is an excellent start for both drivers and workers alike!
Highway Work Zone Safety 101
As a construction or road maintenance crew, the highway proves a particular challenge. Each day, vehicles pass by at high speeds, on their way to work or to run errands, and have little care for their surroundings outside of the vehicle. It’s dangerous.
In fact, according to the CDC, the Federal Highway Administration reports over one thousand deaths per year in construction and work zones on the highway.
On the highway, to ensure roadwork safety for all:
- Remain alert and minimize distractions.
- Merge into proper lanes and remain there until clear.
- Obey posted speed limits.
- Avoid blind spots.
- Follow all instructions provided by flaggers and work zone staff.
How to Stay Safe Working Road Construction
Working road construction, or any type of road maintenance, can be a challenging, tough job, but also an extremely rewarding one. But despite the improvements to roadways, some drivers pay little attention to work zones around them. They often drive recklessly or are distracted behind the wheel.
In work zones, you should take steps to protect yourself and your crew while on the job.
A few work zone safety tips to help get you started include:
- Safety Apparel — A big part of ensuring a safe work zone is wearing proper safety apparel. As the work crew, wearing vests, and helmets can help reduce the risk of injury. As a driver, watching for the reflective materials of cones and other traffic control/work zone equipment, while reducing speeds can help save lives.
- Avoid Blind Spots — One of the biggest concerns in a work zone is stepping into a blind spot. Both vehicles and heavy equipment move often and block view. If you’re on foot, working by such machines, take precautions to avoid blind spots and remain in a clear line of sight of coming traffic and other machinery.
- Stay Hydrated — This goes both ways. A worker or driver who is dehydrated overexerts themselves and makes mistakes. It’s easy to step the wrong way, hit the wrong pedal, or swerve just right when you don’t have a sound mind due to a lack of fluids.
Common Causes of Work Zone Injuries
As previously mentioned, there are countless severe injuries and fatalities that occur every year in work zones across the nation. Many of these, if not all of them, are easily avoidable.
To ensure you’re informed and on guard, knowing the common causes of work zone injuries can help save lives.
- Driver Inattention — A distracted driver will eat, drink, use handheld devices, and attempt to multitask, thereby putting themselves, their passengers, and others at risk of serious injury or even death.
- Speeding — On the highway especially, speeding is a nationwide concern in which many drivers ultimately fail to reduce their speed or acknowledge work zone signs.
Unfortunately, most people are guilty of ignoring work zone safety signage at some point or another. It’s easy to become distracted behind the wheel, dealing with a crying child, or switching the radio, or answering a phone call on a Bluetooth headset.
No matter the reason, it’s never good enough to take your eyes off the road. We can all do our part to reduce the number of severe work zone injuries that take place each year across our great country.
Help Promote Work Zone Safety
There are numerous organizations working to educate the public and promote work zone safety, and among them is Transline.
A few notable others include the:
- Federal Highway Administration
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Take the time to read up on a few work zone safety tips to ensure total roadwork safety and to help protect the lives of both drivers and workers each day.
Learn more about ensuring a safe work zone with Transline, or contact us today for top-rated products and workplace safety solutions that help better lives today!