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June 20, 2014
Remind workers of these summer roadwork hazards

More than 600 lives are lost each year in the U.S. to accidents in construction and maintenance work zones. Summer means an increase in road building and maintenance projects. So whether your employees are doing the work or just driving near a site, they need to be vigilant. Keep reading for safety tips and to find out which states experience the most roadwork fatalities.

Highway work zones are hazardous for motorists who drive through the signs, barrels, and lane changes and for the workers who build, repair, and maintain roads and bridges. Also at risk are emergency responders, cleanup, utility, and demolition personnel.

According to the most current statistics, Texas, California, and Florida ranked as the three states with the most roadwork-related fatalities. Across the country, more than 20,000 workers are injured in construction work zone incidents each year. Most of the accidents are caused by:

  • Contact with objects or equipment.
  • Slips, trips, and falls.
  • Overexertion.
  • Transportation incidents.
  • Exposure to harmful substances or environments.

10 safety tips for driving near work zones

Share these safety tips with employees to remind them of the hazards of driving near work zones. Not only will they stay safer, they’ll also help to prevent injury to road construction workers.

  1. Stay alert, minimize distractions, and be patient.
  2. Dedicate your full attention to the roadway. Avoid changing the radio station, using a mobile phone, eating, or other distractions that can affect your concentration.
  3. Keep headlights on.
  4. Pay attention to the road. Heed signs and watch brake lights on vehicles ahead. Keep an eye on traffic around you and be prepared to react.
  5. Be mindful of merging. Merge well before you reach the lane closure. And remember that traffic patterns can change daily.
  6. Don’t tailgate. Follow other vehicles at a safe distance.
  7. Obey the posted speed limit. Workers may be present just feet away. Also be aware that fines may be doubled for moving traffic violations in work zones. Be prepared to slow down further depending on conditions.
  8. Change lanes safely. Change lanes only where pavement markings indicate and only when traffic conditions permit.
  9. Follow instructions from flaggers.
  10. Expect the unexpected.  Workers, work vehicles, or equipment may enter your lane without warning. Also, other vehicles may slow, stop, or change lanes unexpectedly.
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