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) ninth annual “Roadway Work Zone Safety Awareness Awards” event on March 10 at the National Traffic Management & Work Zone Safety Conference, held at the World of Asphalt show in Orlando, Fla.
The competition recognizes outstanding efforts to help reduce roadway work zone accidents, injuries and fatalities. The awards are divided into these categories: outreach campaigns, safety training and innovations in technology.
An independent panel of judges reviewed the entries and selected winners:
Outreach Programs — Local/Municipal
Recognizes efforts of local-level organizations, such as construction companies, utility companies, local/municipal transportation agencies or trade associations, that promote roadway work zone safety through implementation of employee and/or public education campaigns and training programs.
First Place: Louisiana TIMED Managers, “Geaux Orange: Drive Safe on the Huey”
To improve work zone safety for the 100 employees on the Huey P. Long Bridge in Jefferson Parish, the Louisiana TIMED Managers, a joint venture of Parsons Brinckerhoff, LPA Group Inc., and G.E.C. Inc., conducted a multimedia outreach campaign targeting drivers of the 50,000 vehicles that cross the bridge each day. Project team members conducted extensive local media relations, prepared radio and television safety announcements with local celebrities, and generated buzz via a dedicated web site, YouTube page, and a direct marketing collateral program.
Second Place: Guy F. Atkinson Construction LLC, “I-405 South Bellevue Widening Wilburton Tunnel Outreach”
Widening the busy Interstate 405 corridor through Bellevue, Wash., required closures to facilitate construction of new traffic lanes and demolish the Wilburton Tunnel. To ease congestion during closure periods, Guy F. Atkinson Construction LLC, employees developed and implemented a comprehensive communications plan. Project team members hosted a half dozen media and public education events, pitched specific human interest stories, distributed press releases and conducted direct community relations outreach through 300 local organizations. The program helped contribute to a 20 percent reduction in traffic in the north segment and a 60 percent reduction in the south section during peak closure periods.
Outreach Programs — State/Regional
Recognizes efforts of state/regional-level organizations, such as construction companies, universities, transportation agencies, utility companies or trade associations that promote roadway work zone safety through implementation of employee and/or public education campaigns and training programs.
First Place: Oregon Department of Transportation, “My Daddy Works on the Highway — 2008 Summer Safety Campaign”
Summer 2008 was one of the Oregon Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) busiest bridge work seasons with crews repairing or replacing 83 spans on Interstate 5 alone. With a high volume of work, ODOT launched a unique campaign to alert motorists and road users to the dangers surrounding work zones and the need to drive safely by “humanizing” road work crews. Project team members developed the “My Daddy Works on the Highway” slogan to catch and maintain public attention. Campaign advertisements and literature featured actual contractors, local workers and their families in each media market. The campaign helped contribute to increased public awareness and team members cited a drop in work zone accidents.
Second Place (Tie): Rutgers University, “Putting a Face on Work Zone Safety — 2008 Outreach Campaign”
One teen is killed every three days in a roadway work zone crash and seven are injured. To help reduce these injuries and fatalities, Rutgers University created a teen driver tool kit to supplement curriculum in the state driver education program. The campaign aimed to “personalize” the role of drivers and emphasize the human impact of work zone incidents. University experts and team members created a searchable CD-ROM of available literature, assembled a talking points survey to test driver knowledge of work zone hazards and designed a work zone safety awareness poster designed by a New Jersey high school student.
Second Place (Tie): Granite Construction Company Inc., “Work Zone Safety Awareness Campaign”
Responding to an increase in Utah work zone incident fatalities and increased reports of motorists harassing workers, Granite Construction Company Inc., developed a state-based program to educate drivers about the dangers of exceeding the posted speed in a work zone. Campaign team members generated local media coverage, conducted legislative briefings and worked with area construction and safety officials to help develop protocol for safer work zones. This process led to an agreement to station highway patrol officers at the beginning of work zones to serve an enforcement and protection role. In addition, the state workers compensation fund joined the effort and launched a radio and television ad series to continue promoting the message of safe travel through work zones.
Outreach Programs — National
Recognizes efforts of national organizations, such as construction companies, utility companies, transportation agencies or trade associations that promote roadway work zone safety through implementation of employee and/or public education campaigns and training programs.
First Place: CH2M HILL, “Work Zone Safety Matters”
To address the issue of work zone fatalities and injuries, CH2M HILL created the “Work Zone Safety Matters” campaign. During April, May and June of each year, the campaign works to educate CH2M HILL employees, customers and public officials with safety awareness kits. Team members implemented an extensive program of onsite workplace training and education meetings regarding work zone safety, promoted seatbelt enforcement, and prepared resource kits so each company office could engage the public on the work zone safety education. The effort was recognized by the Colorado Department of Transportation as the first private corporation to engage in seatbelt enforcement under the “Click It or Ticket” program.
Training — Local
Recognizes local programs that promote worker safety on the job site.
First Place: Guy F. Atkinson Construction LLC, “I-405, South Bellevue Widening Design-Build Project”
Guy F. Atkinson Construction LLC, developed an extensive employee safety program to help reduce the recordable workplace incident rate by nearly half. The safety program was integrated into regular work routines on the I-405, South Bellevue Widening Design Build Project. It included a 34-module computerized safety training program, smaller inter-active group training exercises and regular toolbox safety training — all of which began on each employee’s first day and continued throughout the project. Significantly, the program required the participation of all project employees at Atkinson, as well as subcontractors and Washington State Department of Transportation employees assigned to the project.
Training — State
Recognizes state programs that promote worker safety on the job site.
First Place: Wayne State University, “Utility Work Zone Traffic Control Guideline Development and Training”
Utility work zones are fundamentally different from most highway construction work zones. Utility work is often of a short duration and involves smaller crew sizes, which renders a traditional large scale roadway traffic plan impractical. To aid utility companies and contractors in addressing these challenges, the Michigan-based Wayne State University Transportation Research Group developed the “Utility Work Zone Traffic Control Guidelines” and an associated training program consisting of two modules, one targeted for management and safety officials, and another aimed at utility workers, foremen and supervisors. The comprehensive guidelines focused on: an introduction to utility work zone operations and presented recommendations for several important aspects of safety-related utility work, including the establishment of a safety culture in the organization, the use of uniform and consistent traffic control devices and systems, and the development of typical temporary traffic control plans that are appropriate for specific roadway and traffic characteristics.
Training — National
Recognizes national programs that promote worker safety on the job site.
First Place: Connecting Idaho Partners, “GARVEE Transportation Program — Worker Training”
To provide focused work zone safety training for employees and government agency partners, Connecting Idaho Partners (CIP), a joint venture of URS-Washington Division and CH2M HILL partnered with the Idaho Transportation Department and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop an OSHA 10-Hour Construction Industry Outreach Training with roadway construction emphasis. The agencies conducted seven training sessions, free of charge, held at four locations throughout Idaho. The team trained more than 175 public and private sector professionals, representing 31 individual organizations.
Innovations in Technology
Recognizes the important role that technology plays in improving safety in and around work zones for workers and motorists alike. It honors manufacturers of all types of equipment or methodologies that integrate, develop, or market innovative technologies; or that demonstrate innovative applications of existing technologies.
First Place: 3M Company, “All Weather Pavement Marking System of Work Zones”
Roadway markings used in work zones — especially those in “all weather” or heavy rain areas — require a unique product. 3M developed a new pavement marking material that helps ensure visibility under all weather conditions and is especially tailored to work zone applications. The product is designed for use in “all weather” areas and provides a functional and economic solution that improves wet-weather visibility of pavement markings in work zones.
Second Place: C and S Lane Inc., “Plate Lock”
The Plate Lock system, developed by C and S Lane Inc. of Medford, Ore., is a new and innovative way of securing road plates commonly used in work zones. They are mechanically fastened to the roadway, thus eliminating the use of “cold patches” which rely on adhesion to the road. The Plate Lock system also provides an added safety feature because the devices are painted a highly visible orange when they are in use in a work zone.