Constructor - July/August 2015 - (Page 48)

The Road to Safety AGC WORK ZONE SAFETY STUDY CAUTIONS MOTORISTS BY JEANIE J. CLAPP wIth summer now In full swing, motorists will take to their cars - pets, in-laws and kids in tow - and head for a favorite vacation destination. During this high travel season, however, motorists are encouraged to slow down, stay alert and remain free of distraction. On a recent survey conducted by AGC of America, nearly 50 percent of highway contractors reported that motor vehicles had crashed into their construction work zones during the past year. This is up 5 percent from the previous year's survey. Moreover, the survey showed that drivers and passengers are more likely than highway workers to be hurt or killed in work zone accidents. "If the thought of saving someone else's life isn't enough to get you to slow down, just remember that you and your passengers are more likely to suffer in a highway work zone crash than anyone else," says Tom Foss, president of Brea, Calif.-based Griffith Company and the chairman of the association's Highway and Transportation Division. "In most work zones, there just isn't enough margin for error for anyone to speed through or lose focus." Foss says that 41 percent of contractors reported that motor vehicle operators or passengers were injured during work zone crashes this past year, and 16 percent of those crashes involved a driver or passenger fatality. Highway work zone crashes also pose a significant risk for construction workers, Foss notes. He says 16 percent of work zone crashes injure construction workers and 9 percent of those crashes result in fatalities. Work zone crashes also have a pronounced impact on construction schedules and costs, Foss says. According to the survey results, 26 percent of contractors reported that work zone crashes during the 48 constructor | Ju ly/ Au g u st 2015 past year have forced them to temporarily shut down construction activity. Those delays were often lengthy, as 48 percent of those project shutdowns lasted two or more days. THE SOLUTION Most survey respondents, 89 percent to be precise, believe that stricter enforcement of existing laws would help to reduce the number of work zone crashes, injuries and fatalities. Eighty-five percent feel a stronger police presence would help make a significant difference in the number of incidents. The survey, completed by more than 800 contractors nationwide, also indicated 80 percent of contractors believe an increased use of concrete barriers will help reduce injuries and fatalities. And 70 percent of contractors nationwide agree that more frequent safety training for workers would help. AGC of America, thanks to the Susan G. Harwood Training Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, offered six, complimentary safety training classes in 2015 designed to prevent injuries among highway, street and bridge construction workers. "No amount of safety gear will protect a worker if they get hit by a speeding vehicle," says Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC's chief executive officer. "The best defense from crashes is teaching crews how to set up and operate safer work zones." Foss stresses that motorists be more careful while driving through highway work zones. "Our message to every motorist is this: when you see construction signs and orange barrels, take your foot off the gas, put the phone down and keep your eyes on the road." ◆

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Constructor - July/August 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
CEO’S LETTER
REBUILDING MOTOR CITY
THE REAL DETROIT
RAISING THE GRADE
FEDCON BRINGS CONTRACTORS AND AGENCY LEADERSHIP TOGETHER
HOOKED UP
2015 WILLIS CONSTRUCTION SAFETY EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNERS
PUTTING MOORE INTO SAFETY
SIMONSON SAYS
THE ROAD TO SAFETY
CONSTRUCTION SAFETY APPS SAVE WORKER LIVES
DEEP SPACE FINE
TIME TO ENGAGE
COORDINATION LEADS TO TRIUMPH
AGC IN ACTION
TREASURE TROVE
A P3 PRIMER
MEMBER AND CHAPTER NEWS
THREE MUST HAVES IN A FLEET MANAGEMENT SOLUTION
LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY NEWS
A LABOR OF LOVE
TECHNOLOGY TOOLBOX
BEYOND THESE PAGES
UPCOMING EVENTS
2015 REGIONAL RESOURCE GUIDE
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS
FINAL INSPECTION

Constructor - July/August 2015

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