Trade News Release
April 11, 2006
Contact: Bill Wright
Phone: (202) 693-1999
OSHA CONTINUES TO SUPPORT CAMPAIGN TO PROTECT HIGHWAY WORKERS
WASHINGTON -- "Working at the Speed of Night" was the theme for this year's National Work Zone Awareness Week, the seventh annual event that highlights safety awareness for workers in highway work zones. Sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the event ran from April 3-9 and focused on the dangers associated with night work zones. The District of Columbia hosted this year's affair, which began with a special National Media Event near the U.S. Capitol.
The FHWA, along with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the American Traffic Safety Services Association, established the annual National Work Zone Awareness Week held every year in April. Through a large network of government and industry partners, including OSHA, the week of national, state and local public activities seeks to raise public awareness about the need for driving safely in work zones. The FHWA has posted a separate page on its Web site that spotlights worker safety and visibility.
According to the FHWA, the seven-year period ending in 2004 saw nearly a 50 per cent increase in work zone fatalities. In 2004, there were an estimated 1,068 fatalities in work zones. While 80 per cent of those fatalities involved motorists, construction workers and other employees laboring in highway work zones do fall victim to work zone hazards.
More information on highway work zone safety in general and the week's events in particular, is available on FHWA's Safety Page on their Web site.
Additionally, OSHA has a variety of resources that focus on health and safety for construction employees and others working in highway work zones. For example, OSHA's Directorate of Construction fashioned a Web site dedicated to Highway Work Zones and Signs, Signals, and Barricades. OSHA's safety and health topics page entitled "Motor Vehicle Safety" focuses on the entire issue of safety on the highways. Finally, OSHA recently concluded a successful two year alliance with the Roadway Work Zone Safety and Health Coalition. The Coalition included the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA), and the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE).
Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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This news release text is on the Internet at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.