A Crash in Baltimore Puts Construction Worker Safety in the SpotlightAbstract:
After a work zone crash killed six construction workers in Baltimore last week, Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt expressed his condolences on Twitter. Bradley Sant, senior vice president of safety and education for the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), said there are several steps that FHWA could take to improve worker safety. One of the most important would be to make clear when states should require positive separation elements in work zones to prevent vehicles from entering areas where construction workers are doing their jobs. Congress first asked the Department of Transportation to study those requirements in a 1998 funding law. Lawmakers stepped up the pressure in 2012 and 2015 laws, but FHWA has not fully carried out those instructions, according to Sant. An FHWA official said the agency is actively involved in updating the regulations, and it anticipates releasing a proposed rule in the coming months.