April 9, 2014
This week marks the annual public outreach campaign “Work Zone Awareness Week.” Since its inception more than a decade ago, the campaign has grown from a localized event in the mid-Atlantic to a nationwide initiative to promote safety at the beginning of each construction season. In 2012, 611 people lost their lives in work zone-related crashes, up from 590 in 2011. This is far too many.
Many companies (AMT included) promote a culture of safety. We train our employees on the best practices each season, perform all of the required training by OSHA and others and keep an eye on our folks as we’re traveling the roads to make sure that the procedures are followed and work zones are set up correctly. We do what we can, but it’s important to remember that it’s not just workers who are in those crashes. It is motorists and passengers as well. All of these people are family members, coworkers and friends. All of these lives were lost too soon.
As we drive around our highway system, we see many signs and billboards reminding us that this week is Work Zone Awareness Week and to please slow down. This year’s theme is “Work Zone Speeding: A Costly Mistake.” That said, numerous fatalities are also a result of distracted drivers especially those texting in construction zones. We all use the roadways. From building new roads and bridges, to filling potholes (special thanks to those folks in this, the year of the car-swallowing potholes), it all takes human effort to get done. Let’s do our part to keep those who maintain and improve those roadways safe.