It is a well-known fact that construction is one of the most dangerous occupations. Construction workers who work on Ohio’s roads and highways may face even more injuries than those who work on buildings.
Their jobs are not necessarily more dangerous because of the actual work they are doing. Rather, the location brings additional dangers. Many drivers ignore the warning signs and zip through construction zones without slowing down or taking a break from their cell phone conversations.
To help raise awareness about the dangers of road construction, this week, April 4th through 8th, was named Work Zone Safety Awareness Week.
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) analyzed information from accidents in construction zones from the past 10 years. In most situations, when workers are injured on the job, the accident was caused by a negligent driver.
Although fines and punishments are raised for drivers who cause accidents in work zones, the deterrent does not seem to be high enough. Rather than focusing on what they can do to better manage law-breaking drivers, ODOT is working to make the work zones safer.
All equipment that is used in work zones must be equipped with high-intensity flashing lights and reflective tape. Additional signs will also be placed before the construction zones to warn drivers of the upcoming need to slow down.
Some drivers complain that the work zones are still too difficult to navigate. If that is true for many individuals, constructions companies and ODOT should be working together to help ensure the safety of the workers is not endangered unnecessarily.
Source: Ohio.gov, “Drivers make work zones dangerous,” 1 April 2011