|AGC Survey finds 68% of Highway Contractors Had Vehicles Crash Into Their Construction Work Zone during the Past Year|
|More than two-thirds of highway contractors responding to a new Associated General Contractors of America survey say that motor vehicles crashed into their work zones over the past 12 months and almost one-fifth
reported construction-worker fatalities in those accidents.
AGC of America released the survey today, near the start of National Work Zone Awareness Week, a joint industry-government effort to put a spotlight on the dangers on highway job sites and reduce fatalities and injuries. There has been progress. According to U.S. Dept. of Transportation statistics, there were 576 deaths in highway work zones in 2010, the most recent data available, down 15% from 2009s total of 680 and far below the 1,006 fatalities recorded in 2006.
Brian Turmail, an AGC of America spokesman, says, Any improvement is something wed very much welcome.
He credits efforts by government and law-enforcement officials to urge motorists to drive more safely in job sites and also says many contractors are taking pretty aggressive actions to protect their workers. But he adds,Were not going to stop until the fatality number is zero and injury number is zero, if we can get it there.
One surprising finding of the AGC survey was that construction workers were slightly more likely to die in vehicular work zone accidents than motorists were. Specifically, 18% of contractors responding to the survey said they had workers die in highway jobsite accidents and 15% of firms said there were driver or passenger fatalities in such crashes. But US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood said in an April 23
blog posting that 10% to 15% of work zone deaths were workers and 85% to 90% were motorists or passengers. Turmail said that portion of the AGC survey findings caught us by surprise. We did not expect that.”
The Alabama Struck-By Alliance has far reaching goals, from making employees aware of the hazards in their working environment; to training OSHAs compliance officers to understand MUTCD; to working with contractors to make their jobsites a safer place for employees to work; and to making drivers education students and motorists aware of the dangers involved in roadway work zones.
The Alliance strives to make construction employers,
AlabamaAGC is signatory to the Alabama Struck-By Alliance with OSHA along with several other associations in an attempt to address the serious issue of struck-by fatalities in work zones. An alliance is a special OSHA program that allows industry to collaborate with OSHA in a non-enforcement arena. Alliance goals include training and education, outreach and communication and the promotion of a national dialogue on workplace safety and health.
Since 2001, the Alliance has grown to include the following entities:
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA -Alabama Offices)
The Alabama Struck-By Alliance began in 2001 when Paul Weaver, President of H.O. Weaver & Sons, Inc. in Mobile, was discussing a fatal struck-by accident with the Mobile OSHA Area Director, Lana Graves. She suggested he contact the local trade associations he was involved with to form an Alliance, which could provide desperately needed struck-by training to contractors statewide. Weaver, a Past President of Alabama Road Builders Association and a member of AlabamaAGC began talking with these groups. The group immediately grew to include SafeState of Alabama, ALDOT, and 3M Corp.
The newly formed Alliance worked together and soon developed a training seminar which could be utilized across the state to educate hundreds of contractors and ALDOT employees. The training seminar included presentations which addressed several areas of concern.
Nine separate seminars were held throughout the state with the final seminar, video taped by Alabama Technology Center at Auburn University. Alabama Technology Center then produced CDs for the Alliance members to distribute to their memberships and other interested parties.
In 2004, Lamar Advertising joined the Alliance. During Work Zone Awareness Week Lamar provided Billboards around the State boasting the slogan Slow Down Moms and Dads Work Here. Over 55 Billboards were posted with an estimated 62,892,000 viewers over a three month period.
In 2005, the Alliance continued ongoing projects and engaged in new activities.
Alliance member AlabamaT2 Center trained ALDOT workers in the correct implementation of the MUTCD requirements.
Alliance members, AlabamaT2 Center and 3M, are working together in an effort to create a Hazard Assessment Document which can be used by Contractors to help assess the hazards on their jobsites.
During 2005, Alliance contractor members participated in a “Wear Test on Retro-reflective T-Shirts” which was conducted by 3M.
Alliance Members participated in the first Alabama – Federal Highway Summit.
Alliance members supported “National Work Zone Safety Week” in 2005 and 2006 by assimilating information to contractors and others statewide. The Alliance created a safety brochure which was distributed throughout the State. Members of the committee also participated in several local and statewide TV outreach efforts during the week.
Since 2005, the Alliance has participated in National Work Zone Safety Week. Each year Lamar Advertising has donated the artwork and billboards to have a safety message posted on our highways throughout Alabama.
Post Hurricane Efforts:
One of the most significant safety challenges that the devastation of Hurricane Katrina brought to the gulf coast has been the increase in workers exposed to “Struck-By” hazards. Thankfully, the Struck By alliance members were ready and willing to assist by donating PPE and coordinating worker training; including a successful Construction Safety Conference. The alliance also created and placed a safety message on a billboard off Interstate-10 at the Alabama/Mississippi border; reminding drivers to drive safety during the rebuilding.