TRADE NEWS RELEASE
Work Zone Fatalities Increasing
Monday, April 9, 2001
Contact: Layne C. Lathram
Phone: (202) 693-1999
OSHA SUPPORTS "STAY ALERT" CAMPAIGN TO PROTECT HIGHWAY WORKERS
The second annual National Highway Work Zone Safety Week begins today with a kickoff event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration.
With a theme of "Stay Alert," the event features a memorial of 868 orange traffic cones each draped with a black ribbon, one for every worker or motorist killed in a work zone related crash in 1999. OSHA representatives will be available in the "Stay Alert" tent on the Mall to talk with the public about ways to make work zones safer for workers, drivers and pedestrians.
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. Deaths in highway work zones increased by nearly 15 percent from 1998 to 1999.
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 the Federal Highway Administration, the American Traffic Safety Services Association, and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials formed a partnership to highlight the dangers both workers and motorists face within highway work zones. The goal of the program is to increase public awareness of the need for greater caution and care while driving through work zones, provide safety tips for motorists and establish a nationwide coordinated effort to promote work zone safety.
Attached is a list of tips developed to help motorists drive safely in work zones. "Survival in Work Zones," the tip can also be accessed from the Federal Highway Administration's safety page at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/fourthlevel/nwzaw01.htm.
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(The text of this news release is available on the OSHA website at http://www.osha.gov.) Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.