AWP Safety joins many others in construction- and infrastructure-related industries by raising awareness about the importance of safety in roadway work zones during National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, taking place April 17 through 21.
“”Keeping North America’s roads and highways safe as they bear new levels of traffic requires everyone to be more aware of their surroundings and for drivers to heighten their knowledge of potential risks,” says Mark Ludewig, vice president of safety. “This week and every week, our goal is to help people understand the consequences personal actions can have on work zone safety and the lives of others.”
Deadly Dangers of Inattention
An estimated 6,400 automobile crashes occur in work zones each year per National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data. These crashes result in nearly 900 deaths and more than 40,000 injuries, with the vast majority being drivers and passengers. In addition, work zone fatalities have increased 46% since 2010. Motorists staying focused and driving responsibly in work zones can improve these statistics.
Turning Awareness into Action
Companies operating in infrastructure, broadband, utility, construction and transportation industries can use this week to remind their employees and communities about safe work zone practices.
- Educate: Work zone safety training is widely available in all regions of the country. Notable are programs available through the National Safety Council, OSHA Education Center and American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) with whom AWP Safety has worked closely for many years to develop targeted training. Many of these allow students and their trainers to track their progress online. Companies also can launch public awareness campaigns and initiate conversations on social media using the hashtags #NWZSW and Orange4Safety.
- Participate: The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DoT’s) Safe System Approach is intended to address the risks inherent in America’s large and complex roadway system. It works by building and reinforcing multiple layers of protection to both prevent crashes and to minimize the harm caused when they do happen. The DoT invites industry participants of all types to contribute to the National Roadway Safety Strategy.
- Advocate: Companies can also donate their time and resources to organizations like the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) whose members advance road safety through the design and installation of traffic control devices. Chapter members are connected to over 12,000 road safety infrastructure colleagues, so the networking benefits extend far beyond.
- Donate: Organizations may also choose to directly support the victims of work zone accidents. Kids’ Chance of America is a nonprofit group that provides educational opportunities and scholarships for the children of highway workers seriously or fatally injured on the job. The ATSSA Foundation, as the charitable arm of the ATSSA, also distributes funds to fallen workers’ families and supports academic ambitions.
Making Safety Possible
Since its founding in 1981, AWP Safety has focused on protecting those who build and maintain North America’s infrastructure and the communities they serve. Events like National Work Zone Awareness Week are crucial for keeping safety at the forefront of the public consciousness to reduce work zone injuries and fatalities.
AWP Safety has grown to more than 6,800 team members at 140+ facilities in the U.S. and Canada who secure more than 2,000 work zones every day. These safety professionals are skilled in all aspects of traffic management, from traffic engineers to certified Protectors, or flaggers. Offering a comprehensive range of services, training, technologies and equipment, the company designs strategies to keep people safe.
“Safety is in our name and we take it very seriously,” Ludewig says. “AWP Safety excellence improves safety performance and helps keep all members of our communities safe, from workers to motorists to pedestrians. It is our job to ensure that everyone returns home safely to their families each day.”
About National Work Zone Awareness Week
National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an annual spring campaign held at the start of construction season to encourage safe driving through highway work zones. The key message is for drivers to use extra caution in work zones. Started in 1999, NWZAW is sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the American Traffic Safety Specialists Association (ATSSA) and the Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (ASHTO). More information is available at https://www.nwzaw.org/.