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OSHA News Release – Region 5
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 5 News Release: V-138
March 30, 2000
Contact: John Maronic
OSHA TARGETS ROAD CONSTRUCTION SITES TO PROTECT WORKERS IN ILLINOIS, WISCONSIN AND OHIO
The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will launch inspections in April to reduce fatalities, injuries, and illnesses at road construction zones in Illinois, Wisconsin and Ohio.
The targeted enforcement program was prompted by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st century which authorized $218 billion for construction work to maintain and improve our nation's aging roadways. Road construction zones nationwide are estimated to increase by 66% over the next six years. OSHA will conduct approximately 300 construction zone inspections prior to Oct. 1.
Road construction workers are exposed to safety and health hazards which often lead to serious physical harm and death. In the last five years, there have been 54 fatalities at road construction zones in the Midwest. The majority of the fatalities involved workers who were struck by motorists and construction vehicles. Roadway workers also face hazards from crane use, trench activities, falls from heights, lead exposure, silica exposure, and other hazards.
"Our goal is to identify and remove potential risks to road construction workers. There is a clear need to take a proactive approach to save lives and prevent injuries," said OSHA Regional Administrator Michael G. Connors in Chicago.
To ensure that appropriate hazards are addressed during the inspections, OSHA has entered into a partnership agreement with the National Safety Council to provide joint training for OSHA inspectors.
OSHA has reached out to the road building industry, labor organizations, state police, and departments of transportation in Illinois and Wisconsin to better understand the hazards and problems of road construction work. OSHA will also conduct quarterly meetings with road construction contractors to make construction zones safer for workers and motorists.
OSHA provides free on-site consultative services to help employers comply with safety and health regulations. Contact your local OSHA area office for information regarding this service or the road construction zone initiative.
This information is available to sensory-impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (312) 353-6976; TDD Message Referral Phone: 1-800-800-4571.
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