'Work Zone Safety Awareness Award' Winners Announced

Public and private transportation organizations from across the country were recognized for their commitment to safety at the American Road & Transportation Builders Association Transportation Development Foundation (ARTBA-TDF) eighth annual “Roadway Work Zone Safety Awareness Awards” lunch.  The event was held Oct. 22 at the ARTBA National Convention in Chicago.

The award recognizes outstanding efforts to help reduce roadway work zone accidents, injuries and fatalities.  The awards are divided into four categories: private outreach campaigns, government outreach programs, safety training and innovations in technology.

An independent panel of judges reviewed the entries and selected first place winners in the following categories:

Private Outreach Programs -- State/Regional

This category recognizes the efforts of state and regional private sector organizations, such as construction companies, utility companies or trade associations that promote roadway work zone safety through implementation of employee and/or public education campaigns and training programs.

 Associated General Contractors of Texas (AGC)
“Highway Construction Work Zone Hazards DVD Training Video”

Increasingly concerned with jobsite safety and a lack of current statewide educational materials for the transportation construction industry, the AGC of Texas created a joint task force with the Texas Department of Transportation and developed an educational safety video.  The program was designed to reduce the number of highway construction zone accidents by educating workers about industry best-practices and new techniques.  The video covers entering and exiting work zones, parking, equipment, traffic, personal protective equipment and health-related issues.  Organizers delivered safety presentations at events statewide and distributed more than 1,000 DVDs to industry employees and managers.

Private Outreach Programs -- Local/Municipal

This category recognizes the efforts of local-level private sector organizations, such as construction companies, utility companies or trade associations, that promote roadway work zone safety through implementation of employee and/or public education campaigns and training programs.

Curran Contracting Co.
“Work Zone Safety Driver’s Education Campaign”

Curran Contracting Co., headquartered in Crystal Lake, Ill., developed a comprehensive driver’s education campaign to provide local teenagers -- the most at-risk motorist group -- with the knowledge, skills and attitude they need to more safely navigate road construction zones.  It included interactive and high energy videos, photographs, public service announcements, statistics and other information aimed at helping teens better understand driving conditions in work zones.  In the past five years, Curran has presented the campaign to every driver’s education class at the local high school and to other high schools throughout Northern Illinois.

Government Outreach Programs -- State/Regional

This category recognizes the efforts of state-level public agencies that promote roadway work zone safety through implementation of employee and/or public education campaigns and training programs.

California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
“Slow for the Cone Zone”

The Caltrans “Slow for the Cone Zone,” a long-time effort to improve motorist and worker safety in road construction sites, got a big boost in 2008 with an expanded public awareness campaign.  It included helping host and produce the National Work Zone Awareness Week kick-off event in Sacramento, which drew hundreds of people and the news media.  Billboards, multi-lingual traffic report sponsorships, gas pump “toppers” and website banner ads were also utilized to help reach the general public about the dangers associated with driving in road construction zones and the stiff $1,000 fines that come with speeding through the sites.  In 2008, the agency estimates the campaign helped achieve 500 million “media impressions” and reached nearly 90 percent of California’s drivers.

Training -- Local/Municipal

This category recognizes local-level training programs that promote worker safety on the job site.

Weber County Constructors
“I-15 New Ogden Weber Expansion Safety Training Program”

Weber County Constructors took action to dramatically reduce their “project incident rate” on the $238 million I-15 New Ogden Weber Expansion project in Weber County, Utah.  The team -- a joint venture between Granite Construction, Inc., and Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction Co. Inc. -- developed a safety training program based on the slogan “Safety, don’t start work without it!  Set the example, don’t be the example.”  This campaign reinforced the message through banners and repeated on-site training sessions, incident review briefings, team recognition, slide shows and guest speakers.   Team members achieved more than 210 days injury free and helped reduce the incident rate from eight percent to one-and-a-half percent from 2006-2008.

Training -- National

American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA)
“ATSSA Roadway Safety Training”

Operating under a four-year, $11.9 million federal contract, ATSSA created a national roadway safety training curriculum as well as customized state and job-site specific programs.  The organization has trained more than 5,000 workers and developed 13 new education and training products during 2008.  Since 1977, ATSSA has provided official training programs recognized by more than 40 states that have trained 186,000 workers.

Innovations in Technology -- Product

There was a tie for first place:

Tie: Transpo Industries, Inc.
“SonoBlaster® Dual Alert™ Work Zone Intrusion Alarm”

More than 1,000 work zone fatalities occur each year including many accidents that result from drifting into or crossing through a line of cones or other temporary markers or barriers.  To lower the risk to workers and drivers in work zones, Transpo Industries, Inc., located in New Rochelle, N.Y., created the SonoBlaster® Dual Alert™ intrusion alarm which can be mounted on work zone barricades, cones, drums, or other standard markers.  The unit activates a 125dB signal horn to alert workers of any vehicle intrusion, thereby increasing job site safety by acting as a warning unit when workers may have their attention focused away from adjacent traffic.

Tie:  Energy Absorption Systems, Inc., (a Quixote Company)
“Vorteq Truck Mounted Attenuation System”

Work zone trucks towing a Truck Mounted Attenuation (TMA) system provide a front line of defense for work crews by providing a buffer between workers and oncoming traffic.  Energy Absorption Systems Inc., based in Chicago, created a new model of attenuation unit that installs quickly to standard trucks and other work vehicles.  The system utilizes a unique energy absorption technology that coils impacted material thereby reducing debris scattered in a work zone and in the direction of work crews.  Because of the unit’s light weight and lower entry cost, it provides additional opportunity for contractors to expand work zone protection capabilities for transportation construction industry workers.

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