Topics of Interest
Topics of Interest
Worker Safety and Welfare
Bureau of Labor Statistics injury and fatality statistics from 2011 – 2020 show that each year over 100 workers were fatally injured at road construction sites. Other BLS data shows that on average, between 2017 and 2019, close to half of road worker fatalities were due to workers on foot being struck by vehicles on the job site. With so many people, factors, and situations interacting on a job site, many that are completely outside the control of individual workers, it is extremely important that road workers are extra aware, careful, and properly protected by safety policies, procedures, devices, and personal protective equipment.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) operates to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. OSHA’s Safety and Health Topics pages provide regulatory and enforcement information, hazard identification and controls as well as best practices and other resources to assist employers, workers and safety and health professionals ensure safer workplaces.
Explore these other resources.
Worker Fatigue and Distraction
Maintaining constant awareness of the many potential hazards on the jobsite is difficult even when you are refreshed and focused. Awareness can be nearly impossible to maintain if you are drowsy or distracted. Working while extremely tired and sleepy can be as dangerous as working while intoxicated. As more work is being done at night or during extended weekend shifts, the potential for worker fatigue increases. Fatigue can accumulate over time and continue to desensitize your workers to risks.
Distractions can also keep you from maintaining risk awareness on the job. Your cell phone or smart device is one of the biggest distracters. While most agencies prohibit use of personal devices while working, more and more equipment and work tasks rely on workers utilizing these devices for job duties. Use of such devices reduces work accuracy and increases reaction times. In fact, someone using one of these devices can actually experience “risk blindness,” where hazards that are normally very visible are not even noticed.
This white paper presents available information and guidance on maintaining worker situational awareness with a focus on fatigue and electronic device use.
The following are examples of some policies regarding the use of electronic devices on the job.
- Ohio Department of Transportation Policy on Electronic Device Use on the Jobsite (Section XIX)
- Old Castle Materials Electronic Device Policy
- Texas Department of Transportation Policy on Electronic Device Use
- Utah Department of Transportation Policy on Electronic Device Use (Section 7.4)
Situational Awareness: ALERT & ALIVE Initiative
The program ALERT & ALIVE program was developed to combat the risks of worker fatigue and distraction due to electronic devices. The premise is that, unlike video games, where players can be virtually reborn after being killed, there are no do-overs if an accident occurs at a real-world jobsite.
The following links allow access to tip cards, posters, training videos, and the campaign logos to initiate a campaign.
Fatigue Risks and Mitigation Strategies:
Distraction Risks and Mitigation Strategies:
Situational Awareness Training Videos
These videos illustrate how fatigue and distraction affect safety on the jobsite, as well as educate the viewer on ways to mitigate those effects.
Minimizing Night Work Hazards
Scheduling transportation construction at night can reduce the impact of restricted travel lanes during rush hour and normal daytime business operations. However, night work has its own set of hazards that must be factored into any work plan. These resources provide information on the unique hazards of night work and how to minimize the work zone risks to motorists and workers. [photo]
The course Night Work in Work Zones is available for free from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association Work Zone Consortium.
- Night Work Toolbox Pamphlet [English] [Spanish] [Portuguese]
- Night Work Flagging Toolbox Pamphlet [English] [Spanish] [Portuguese]
- Night Work High Visibility Toolbox Pamphlet [English] [Spanish] [Portuguese]
- Night Work Risks Toolbox Pamphlet [English] [Spanish] [Portuguese]
- Night Work Temporary Lighting Toolbox Pamphlet [English] [Spanish] [Portuguese]
- Night Work Trainee Booklet [English] [Spanish] [Portuguese]
(these docs are listed in the Toolboxes page under Night Work https://workzonesafety.org/training-resources/toolboxes/ )
For more resources on working at night, type “working at night” in the search box.
Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment, or PPE, is any type of specialized gear or clothing that protects a person from potential jobsite hazards. Items classified as PPE include safety glasses, gloves, a dust mask, and a hard hat. This protection is used as the last line of defense when risks cannot be reduced enough through elimination, substitution, engineering, and administrative controls to provide a safe working environment.
Providing, maintaining, and using PPE is a joint responsibility between workers and management.
MUTCD Section 6 https://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/htm/2009r1r2/part6/part6d.htm
NIOSH Directory of Personal Protective Equipment https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ppe/default.html
Just-in-time Video on Retroreflectivty
For more resources on personal protective equipment, type “PPE” in the search box. For information on specific types of PPE visit the Toolboxes page https://workzonesafety.org/training-resources/toolboxes/ or type the name of a specific type of PPE such as “hard hat” into the search box.