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Recent survey data highlights importance of work zone safety, ATSSA training
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Recent survey data highlights importance of work zone safety, ATSSA training

A recent survey showed that 54% of highway contractors in the United States reported vehicles crashing into their work zones in the past year. That same survey also showed that 48% of those reported work zone crashes involved a vehicle driver or passenger being injured, and 24% resulted in a fatality.

The survey showed that highway work zone crashes were also dangerous for roadway workers in particular, with 25% of the incidents injuring workers, and 3% involving a worker fatality. This, as well as the most recent data from the Fatality Analysis Report System – which states that 35,526 work zone injuries and 700 work zone fatalities took place in 2015 – call for renewed emphasis on improving  work zone safety.

To help prepare for and prevent work zone crashes, ATSSA is committed to training roadway workers on how to properly set up and operate in work zones. ATSSA Master Instructor Juan M. Morales shared how ATSSA’s national certification program provides practical training for flaggers and roadway workers, to ensure they have a traffic control plan, and the knowledge to properly set up a work zone to account for those potential work zone intrusions.

“We can minimize the severity of work zone crashes by anticipating them and designing the work zone accordingly, so the design of the work zone ‘forgives’ that mistake, either giving the driver time to correct that mistake, or to prevent serious injuries or fatalities. If those concepts get implemented out in the field, that saves lives,” said Morales.

ATSSA has been the recipient of the Work Zone Safety Grant from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration to train roadway workers in 2006, 2011, 2013, and 2017, and Morales believes ATSSA’s training has been instrumental in keeping roadway workers and drivers safe in work zones.

Tim Luttrell, another ATSSA training instructor, shared his thoughts on work zone crashes and the need for roadway workers to receive comprehensive training.

“We know the importance of protective devices and features in work zones – they are used for the safety of workers and all road users. ATSSA’s training courses provide practical information on these topics, along with resources that specify how and when to use positive protection…the topics covered in ATSSA’s courses have a positive impact on safety,” said Luttrell.

Learn more about ATSSA training at www.atssa.com/Training.

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