Since 2007, the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has worked alongside the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and Roadway Work Zone Safety and Health Partners to protect workers in roadway construction zones from injuries, illnesses and fatalities. This month, the three agencies renewed their partnership for another five years.
Together, the groups promote a culture of safety in the roadway construction industry, especially among non- and limited-English speaking workers. Members collaborate to reduce some of the most common workplace incidents, especially run-over and back-over hazards, excessive noise, sprains and strains and illnesses related to silica exposure.
"Employees who work in highway construction work zones face serious dangers, not only from construction equipment but from motorists as well," said OSHA's Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels. "I am confident that the information and resources generated from this renewed alliance will prove beneficial in reducing worker injuries and fatalities."
More specifically, the alliance has developed case studies on worker fatalities in roadway work zones, produced an infographic on the causes of the fatalities and worked together to develop documents and training courses to prevent falls and other construction safety hazards.
Some of the partnership's previous findings include:
- More than half of all backovers involve a dump truck.
- In one third of back-over fatalities, the back-up alarm was not functioning.
- One in 10 fatalities occurred when workers were flagging or performing traffic control duties, and only one in five of those killed were wearing high-visibility clothing.
- Five percent of roadside work site deaths were caused by falls, and one third of those killed failed to use fall protection despite working on bridges and overpasses.
- While nearly half (46 percent) of all roadway work zone fatalities were caused when a worker was struck by a vehicle, less than 2 percent were killed by a drunk driver.
To develop an accident prevention program for your roadside work site to both keep your contractors safe and ensure you are compliant with the latest OSHA regulations, contact Safety Advantage today.