The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association posted a reminder that National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) will be observed, April 11-15 with this year’s theme of “Work Zones are a Sign to Slow Down.” Over the past few years, the tower industry has been impacted by motorists interfering with and endangering crews who were working in bucket trucks at tower sites adjacent to roadways. An Inside Towers article in 2020 detailed how traffic control is important in tower work.
NWZAW has been observed for more than 20 years and was launched as a public awareness campaign to help everyone understand they play a role in keeping motorists and roadway workers safe. This year’s national kickoff event is scheduled for April 12 in the Washington, D.C. area, and is hosted by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
Statistics from the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse show there were762 fatal crashes in work zones resulting in 842 deaths in 2019. In addition,135 roadway workers were killed in work zones. The vast majority of people killed in work zones were motorists, passengers and pedestrians. Those statistics demonstrate the importance of work zone safety and participating in NWZAW to spread the message that everyone has a role in getting roadway workers home safely.
As part of NWZAW, everyone is encouraged to participate in Go Orange Day on April 13 and to observe a moment of silence on April 15 for people killed in work zone incidents. On Go Orange Day individuals are encouraged to wear orange as a visual reminder of work zones. State departments of transportation, federal agencies and other organizations will be participating in NWZAW and distributing public service announcements about work zone safety and hosting events to highlight the issue.
In addition to ATSSA, VDOT, FHWA and AASHTO, NWZAW partners now include the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Maryland State Highway Administration, D.C. Department of Transportation, Associated General Contractors, and American Road & Transportation Builders, plus support from many people and organizations touched by work zone safety. Learn more about NWZAW.