Work Zone Injuries Happen Every 14 Minutes
Travelers offers strategies for National Work Zone Awareness Week to help workers and drivers stay safe
HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Working in the street or highway can be as dangerous as it sounds. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were more than 37,000 injuries in work zones and more than 500 fatalities in the most recent year reported. This equates to one work zone injury every 14 minutes, 96 per day, or about four people injured every hour.* Travelers is helping drivers and entities manage this risk by offering important steps to help stay safe for National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 15 - 21.
"When an accident occurs in the work zone, it can have a significant impact to the motorist, worker and the entire company," said Bob Kreuzer, Vice President, Travelers Risk Control. "National Work Zone Awareness Week serves as a reminder to drivers and job supervisors to stay focused on being safe in these areas. As a large insurer of commercial drivers, construction firms and municipalities, Travelers understands how things go wrong and implementing certain precautions can greatly improve safety for these workers."
For any organization with operations in streets or the nation's highways, there are important steps to take to help keep workers safe. They include:
Have a Plan - Having a written Traffic Control Plan based on the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) or state requirements, whichever is more stringent, is critical in that it is the foundation for safety within work zones.
Slow Traffic - The signage a driver and/or pedestrian experiences before entering a work zone in the advanced warning area can influence their movement through the work zone.
Create a Barrier - While the type and extent of barriers utilized within a work zone are typically dictated within contract documents, the type of barrier ultimately used can mean the difference between protecting workers or not.
Be Visible - Make sure workers are visible with the appropriate high-visibility apparel. This includes bright colors during the day and retro-reflective gear when working in the dark.
Drivers traveling through work zones should also pay extra attention as traffic patterns may change, following distances can be reduced, and equipment, road materials and workers may unexpectedly enter the driving lane.
"There is a lot happening in the roadway leading up to a work zone, and in the work zone itself, which means there is more that can potentially distract a driver," added Kreuzer. "That's why it is important to be extra attentive when driving through a work zone to help avoid an accident."
National Work Zone Awareness Week, sponsored by the Associated General Contractors of America, raises public awareness about the dangers for highway construction sites, roadway work zones and motorists when road improvements are underway.
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. The company's diverse business lines offer its global customers a wide range of coverage sold primarily through independent agents and brokers. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has more than 30,000 employees and operations in the United States and selected international markets. The company generated revenues of approximately $26 billion in 2012. For more information, visit www.travelers.com.
* Source: U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, Facts and Statistics - Work Zone Injuries and Fatalities (http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/resources/facts_stats/injuries_fatalities.htm) accessed 3/26/2013
The Travelers Companies, Inc.
Matt Bordonaro, 860-277-7014
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