Between 2015 and 2016, roadwork construction worker fatalities increased by 7%. The Federal Highway Administration attributes this rise to a few different factors: increased traffic, increased roadside construction projects and distracted driving. While we probably can’t control increased traffic and the increase of construction projects is a positive thing for our industry, there is something we can do to decrease these fatalities. We can emphasize safety precautions to protect against distracted driving.
Distracted driving can include texting, talking on a phone, eating, etc. At a state level, there has been success in implementing education campaigns. In addition, the Federal Highway Administration is looking into technology solutions to allow traffic to flow smoothly through work zones and to prepare drivers on what to expect when entering a work zone.
At a construction firm level, you should consider implementing the number of workers who are in close proximity to moving vehicles, increase the use of guardrails or other longitudinal barriers, increase lighting and the use of cones, lighted signs, breakaway signs and crash cushions.
Aside from simply caring about the well-being of your construction workers, failing to keep your employees safe can create legal issues for the firm down the road. If you rely on new safety measures, ensure you keep your policies up to date to allow your entire team to know, understand and properly implement those safety measures on a daily basis.