Each year in the spring, National Work Zone Awareness Week is held to bring national attention to motorist and worker safety in work zones. It is designed to inform motorists about the dangers of driving through work zones and of the perils faced by construction and maintenance workers. This year’s theme is “Drive Like You Work Here!”
Safety Tips for Drivers
- Pay attention by keeping your eyes on the road and avoiding all distractions like changing the radio station, eating or drinking, and cell phones or other electronic devices while approaching and driving through a work zone.
- Keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you. Give a wide berth to construction workers and their equipment. Utility vehicles are included in Georgia’s “Move Over Law,” which requires drivers to move over one lane when crews are working on the roadside.
- Follow the instructions of road crew flaggers and safety signs.
- Slow down to posted speed limits and be prepared to slow down further if necessary.
- Expect the unexpected in work zones. Watch for sudden stops because things can change quickly. You can’t assume a work zone is the same as it was the last time you drove through – traffic lanes may have closed, narrowed, or shifted.
- Be patient. Although travel delays are frustrating, slowing down in a work zone typically requires only a few extra minutes.
Safety Tips for Workers
- Use these tips to create a traffic control plan to provide clear and positive guidance to drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians as they approach and travel through the work zone.
- Position cones, barrels, and barriers to clearly specify areas of the work zone. Designate areas for material storage, areas where heavy equipment is being used, vehicle parking, and safe areas for workers on foot to move about in.
- Wear high-visibility, protective clothing that meets OSHA standards. Personal protective equipment should include hard hats, steel-toed boots, hearing protection, and a highly visible vest, jacket or shirt.
- Use a spotter to monitor the movement of vehicles and heavy equipment inside the work zone. Spotters can also alert workers to any potential dangers.
At Northside Tool Rental, we feel the goal of raising awareness for work zone safety is to get everyone home safely – including all road crews and all commuters.