National Work Zone Awareness week is wrapping up today after five day of events and outreach initiatives to spread the word about an important work safety agenda. Work Zone Safety refers to construction and maintenance on highways and roads, encompassing a wide range of individuals, from pedestrians and drivers to road workers, municipal employees and law enforcement.
Work Zone Safety: “We’re All In This Together”
National Work Zone Awareness Week is a collaboration between the Federal Highway Administration and ATSSA with support from organizations including Associated General Contractors and WorkZoneSafety.org, to bring awareness to the risks involved in highway work zones. In 2010, 576 workers and motorists were killed in highway work zones, a marked improvement over a 10 year period as informed drivers and state awareness programs are helping to increase safety. With road construction beginning to ramp up after the winter months, National Work Zone Awareness Week serves to remind us of the importance of caution when traveling through work zones.
Work Zone Construction Safety: An Important Agenda
National Work Zone Awareness Week was initiated in 1999 and has coincided with a reduction in work zone crashes and fatalities each year since 2002. While there is always room for additional construction safety measures and caution in work zones, statistics support the effectiveness and importance of the campaign.
Crashes in work zones caused 720 fatalities in 2008, a 39 percent decrease from 2002, when 1,186 work zone fatalities occurred
In 2010, 576 workers and motorists were killed in highway work zones
Approximately 85% of work zone fatalities are drivers and their passengers
18%of work zone crashes injure construction workers, and 8% cause fatal injury
38% of highway contractors had motor vehicles crash into their construction work zones during the past year
45% of all work zone fatalities for 2010 were 35 years old or younger
Highway Safety Equipment and Work Zone Safety Initiatives
Since National Work Zone Awareness Week kicked off in 1999, innovation and technological developments have helped to manage injury risk associated with automobile crashes in highway work zones. Manufacturers such as Trinity Highway Products and Energy Absorption Systems produce highway crash cushions, crash rated traffic barrier, and shadow vehicle attenuator trucks to absorb and manage collision impacts. Highway safety equipment contractors such as Site-Safe Products specialize in work zone safety on highways across the country.
But the most important initiative for accident prevention is driver awareness. Products such as RoadQuake Rumble Strips help to alert drivers when workers are present. Always be mindful of work zone signage, put away any distracting devices, slow down, and observe posted speed limits when workers are present.
As National Work Zone Awareness Week reminds us, highway safety will help protect not only your family, but also the families of construction workers and municipal representatives operating in work zones.
Floor openings are a broad OSHA standard covering stairwells, ladderways, hatches, skylights, pits, manholes, and other walking or working surfaces that workers can fall into. In industrial workplaces, floor openings commonly provide multi-level access or access to storage or materials, and are often found when labor or construction is underway. Consider the Top 10 citations for OSHA safety standard 1910.23 in 2012.
Manufacturing (302 Citations in 2012)
Wholesale Trade (71 Citations)
Transportation, Communications, Electric, Gas, and Sanitary Services (61 Citations)
Safety managers and operations personnel must keep in mind OSHA guidelines including proper railings, floor opening covers, toe boards, manhole guards, and platforms. Industries with the most frequent violations include manufacturing, transportation/energy, and mining. The common thread among these industries? Material storage, operational setting variations, and multi-level access.
If your work area provides access to multiple levels for which standard equipment will not safely facilitate, custom solutions may be necessary. Proper equipment will protect your employees, manage worker’s comp safety risk, and prevent OSHA citations.
Innovative Access Solutions, LLC
For custom access design, Innovative Access Solutions is an experienced and knowledgeable producer of OSHA safe solutions, across industries. For more information about IAS, visit IAScustom.com or call (800) 388-6884.
The National Bureau of Labor’s 2011 Census of Occupational Injuries brought to light a theme that occupational safety management professionals have observed for years: Slips & Falls are a leading cause of occupational injuries. Combined with Roadway Incidents, the two categories make up over a third of all fatal occupational injuries. Trucking, Transportation & Warehousing is the industry sector with the most fatal work injuries and a Top 3 work injury rate. Safety professionals in these industries should consider leading fall protection risk areas and consider mitigation tactics for each.
Sounds easy, right? Have a look at our premier infographic ‘Slips & Falls in Trucking’ to see this concept illustrated for painless consumption.
Welcome to the Safety & Numbers blog! Our blog will be a resource for Business Owners, Safety Managers, and Operations Personnel, to keep you informed about statistics, policy trends, best practices and related topics in the field of occupational health and safety.
The Safety & Numbers blog is presented by Innovative Access Solutions, LLC. IAS has produced OSHA safe access solutions for over a dozen years. We have created this resource to provide summary information for interested members of the occupational safety community. We hope that you will find this information valuable, and invite you to share our content with other members of the community.