Region 4 News Release: USDOL: 02-59
Wed., April 10, 2002
Contact: Lorette Post
Phone: (404) 562-2078
(601) 965-4606 ext. 0
OSHA Supports Campaign To Protect Highway Workers
JACKSON, Miss. -- Near Greenwood, Miss., a highway worker was killed in a recent accident when a car struck him after skidding on an ice patch. Accidents like this one grow more and more familiar to Mississippi residents as highway construction activity increases.
Monday, April 8, marked the beginning of the third annual National Highway Work Zone Safety Week which honors those who have lost their lives in highway work zones and calls for increased awareness of safe driving in roadway work areas.
Deaths and injuries among highway workers and others in construction work zones on U.S. highways represent a growing problem, according to the Federal Highway Administration. In 2000, there were an estimated 1,093 fatalities in work zones around the country.
"Here in Mississippi, we're responding to the growing problem of highway work zone accidents and fatalities with a special local emphasis program," said Clyde Payne, OSHA's Jackson area director.
To prevent crashes, motorists are urged to remain alert and pay careful attention, minimize distractions, avoid changing lanes, keep up with the traffic flow, turn on headlights, avoid tailgating and speeding, expect the unexpected, and be patient.
The Work Zone Safety Awareness Week Program began in December 1999 when a joint cooperative effort was formed to highlight the dangers that both workers and motorists face within highway work zones. That effort includes OSHA, the Federal Highway Administration, the American Traffic Safety Services Association, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the Association of General Contractors, the American Road and Transportation Builders, and more than twenty other groups.
A fact sheet and additional materials on the national work zone safety campaign can be accessed from the Federal Highway Administration's Safety Page. The campaign is also listed on OSHA's website on the Events Page.
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