Possible Solutions

April 20, 2023
National Work Zone Awareness Week also focuses on what companies can do to solve the problem

By Mark Ludewig, Contributing Author

National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an important time to recognize work zone safety and those impacted by accidents resulting in injury or death. There are many ways companies can show their support.

Start with Raising Awareness

Creating awareness for NWZAW is an important first step. Start by educating your staff on the cause and awareness week, with materials like posters or by sharing articles such as this one in your newsletters. There are many easy-to-find resources that discuss work zone dangers, the causes of accidents, and safety tips for workers and motorists.

Social media serves as an important tool to engage wider communities. For example, companies can create meaningful campaigns to raise awareness and encourage others to take a pledge for safer driving habits. Hundreds of companies and individuals reach out on social media each year using #NWZAW to bring awareness to the reported 800 fatalities and countless injuries that occur each year due to preventable work zone accidents.

But this cause needs more support to decrease those numbers.

Turn Awareness into Action

Companies can also use their resources to advocate for those affected by work zone accidents. A few ideas to consider:

  • Join the cause: The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DoT’s) Safe System Approach has been embraced by the transportation community as an effective way to address the risks inherent in our enormous and complex roadway system. It works by building and reinforcing multiple layers of protection to both prevent crashes and to minimize the harm caused when they do happen. Reaching zero will require the entire community and the American public to lead a significant cultural shift that treats roadway deaths as unacceptable. ​The DoT invites industry participants to join in the call to eliminate roadway fatalities by contributing to the success of the National Roadway Safety Strategy.
  • Donate resources: Companies can donate their time and money to organizations that work to improve work zone safety, including the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA). ATSSA members advance road safety through the design, manufacture, and installation of traffic control devices. Chapter meetings bring members together to discuss challenges and brainstorm solutions. Becoming a member also connects companies to more than 12,000 road safety infrastructure colleagues, so the networking benefits extend beyond the conference room.
  • Advocate for victims: Companies can also choose to directly support the victims of work zone accidents. Kids’ Chance of America is a nonprofit organization that provides educational opportunities and scholarships for the children of highway workers seriously or fatally injured on the job. There are Kids’ Chance chapters in many states that rely on supportive businesses to help children pursue their educational dreams without financial burden. The ATSSA Foundation, as the charitable arm of ATSSA, also distributes funds to fallen workers’ families and supports academic ambitions.

ATSSA maintains a NWZAW calendar of events where companies can learn more about how to participate and make their voice count on the importance of work zone safety. Companies that manage construction projects should also use this time to remind employees about the importance of staying alert and protected. NWZAW is the perfect opportunity to review training plans and safety protocols. R&B

Mark Ludewig is the vice president of Safety for AWP Safety

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