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Federal Highway Administration / Publications / Focus / March 2010

Accelerating Infrastructure Innovations

Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-10-011
Date: March 2010

National Work Zone Awareness Week 2010: Work Zones Need Your Undivided Attention

National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) 2010 will be observed nationwide from April 19-23, with a kickoff event to be held in New York City on Monday, April 19. As the number of State and local outreach events and public awareness campaigns grows each year, the goal of the week continues to be reminding drivers how they can help keep everyone in a work zone safe. In 2008, 720 workers and motorists were killed in highway work zones and more than 40,000 were injured. Eighty-five percent of those killed in work zones are drivers or their passengers.

NWZAW was created in 1999 when the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA), and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) signed a Memorandum of Agreement pledging to increase public awareness of work zone safety issues through a national media campaign. Since then, outreach efforts have included everything from a "Between the Barrels" education initiative for teenagers in Tennessee to work zone safety information distributed at highway rest areas in Illinois to the Virginia Department of Transportation's (VDOT) creation of the VDOT Workers Memorial on Interstate 64.

Supporters of the eleventh annual event include State transportation departments, American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), and the Associated General Contractors of America. More details on NWZAW 2010 will be posted at www.atssa.com and www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/outreach/wz_awareness.htm as information becomes available.

A view from the center lane as traffic flows along a three-lane highway. The left lane is closed off by traffic cones. Jersey barriers separate the three lanes of traffic flowing in the opposite direction.
The goal of National Work Zone Awareness Week
is to remind drivers how they can help
keep everyone in a work zone safe.

FHWA's many work zone safety and mobility resources can be found online at www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz and safety.fhwa.dot.gov/wz. These resources include a collection of work zone best practices and a series of fact sheets on State work zone safety initiatives. Also available are links to resources developed through FHWA's Work Zone Safety Grant program. From 2006-2009, $17.2 million in grant funds were distributed with the aim of providing highway work zone safety training and developing guidelines to prevent and reduce work zone injuries and fatalities. Through a competitive process, grants were awarded to the Laborer's Health and Safety Fund of North America (LHSFNA)/ARTBA, ATSSA, Wayne State University (WSU) in Michigan, and the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT).

ATSSA has developed or updated courses on such topics as temporary traffic control, work zone strategies, safe and effective use of law enforcement personnel in work zones, and flagger training. Products available also include a work zone protection toolbox, safety performance measures booklet, and guidance on worker visibility and temporary traffic control considerations for pedestrians. LHSFNA/ARTBA, meanwhile, has developed a roadway safety awareness program CD that provides an overview of common hazards in highway construction and simple prevention measures. Training and guidance is also being developed in such areas as speed management and work zone access and egress.

A view looking down over a highway work zone as repaving work is done. Traffic continues to flow in the left-hand lanes of the highway. Paving equipment and five workers are visible.
FHWA's Peer-to-Peer program provides
guidance on implementing work zone management strategies.

WSU has focused its efforts on developing training for managing utility work zones. Products available include traffic control training programs, an instructor's guide, case studies, guidelines, and temporary traffic control plan software. At IIT, grant funds have been used to develop highway work zone safety audit guidelines that can be adapted to State or local applications. For more information on the Work Zone Safety Grant program and all of the products available through the program, visit www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/outreach/wz_grants.htm.

FHWA also offers a Work Zone Safety and Mobility Peer-to-Peer (P2P) program, which matches agencies with experienced transportation professionals who can provide guidance on how to address common challenges in implementing work zone management strategies. "This resource is available to assist States with all of their work zone questions and challenges," says Chung Eng of FHWA. To be matched with a peer, call 866-P2P-FHWA (866-727-3492), or send an email to WorkZoneP2P@dot.gov. There is no cost to participate in the program.

For additional information about FHWA's work zone safety and mobility resources, contact Chung Eng at FHWA, 202-366-8043 (email: chung.eng@fhwa.dot.gov). To learn more about work zone safety, visit the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse at www.workzonesafety.org. This comprehensive "cyber library" offers details on laws and regulations, best practices, current research, work zone safety products, public awareness campaigns, and training materials. International resources are also available in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese.

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Updated: 06/27/2017
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