Road industry groups align to reduce construction zone injuries, deaths

| April 23, 2012

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and industry allies on April 19 renewed their commitment to working with the federal government to help reduce the number of injuries and deaths in roadway construction zones.

During the next two years, the “Work Zone Safety Alliance” will develop and disseminate educational materials aimed at preventing worker injuries and deaths from construction vehicle runovers and backovers. It will also concentrate on increased outreach to non-English-speaking or limited-English-speaking workers.

“Most fatalities that occur in road construction work zones involve a worker being struck by a piece of construction equipment or other vehicle,” said David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, in a written statement. who presided at the signing ceremony. “This renewed Alliance with the Roadway Work Zone Safety and Health Partners will help reach workers and employers with critical education and information to reduce preventable injuries and deaths.”

ARTBA Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Toohey represented the association at the event. It marks the third time the alliance has been renewed.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are the federal agencies engaged in the partnership, which includes these private sector groups: ARTBA, the National Asphalt Pavement Association, the Associated General Contractors of America, and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, and labor organizations – the Laborers’ International Union of North America and the International Union of Operating Engineers. The U.S. Federal Highway Administration participates as an ex-officio member.

“This alliance is unique among those administered by OSHA, in that it includes multiple federal agencies, organized labor, representation from state agencies and employer associations,” said Brad Sant, ARTBA senior vice president for safety and education, who worked to forge the initial alliance nearly a decade ago. “It demonstrates an unparalleled commitment by the transportation construction sector to promote safety for our industry’s workers. In an era marked by polarized politics, it is refreshing to see these very different groups come together and work so cooperatively to ensure our workplaces are safer for all involved.”

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