Bridge Work Zone SafetyAuthor/Presenter: Nelson, Ron
Three workers repainting a section of bridge have been hurt by large vehicles, prompting officials to turn their attention to the increasingly dangerous problem of traffic-related safety hazards during the $20 million project. In part, the problem is caused by “over-wide” trucks that travel in the far right lane of the bridge. The narrow lane is next to where contractors store equipment and where workers must travel to their work areas. The workers suffered only minor injuries when they were struck by trucks whose parts, such as side mirrors, extended beyond the concrete barricades that block off the worklane. Equipment and construction apparatus have also been damaged. This has prompted Dan Martin of Certified Coatings in California to write letters to state officials calling for a ban on trucks in the far right lane. Nationwide, the number of fatalities in work zones increased for 789 in 1995 to a record 1098 in 2000. More than 40,000 injuries occur in work zones each year.