National Safety Program Hopes to Cut Fatalities on Highway Construction Projects

Wed July 22, 2009 - National Edition

A new national worker safety training program should help reduce the approximately 100 construction workers killed each year while performing highway maintenance or construction. The Highway Worker Safety Program is designed to teach construction crews ways to make highway construction zones safer working environments.

“There isn’t an infrastructure project in this country that’s worth the life of a single construction worker,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, which helped develop the new program. “This program is designed to make sure that vital road work doesn’t turn fatal.”

Sandherr noted that the program focuses on teaching ways to control traffic, operate heavy equipment and staff work sites in a way that reduces risk to construction workers. He added that craft workers, supervisors or anyone else involved in road construction can use the safety training program.

Construction companies may tailor the two-disc DVD set to meet individual training needs. Training materials include an instructor guide and participant manual.

The training program was co-developed by the Associated General Contractors of America and Zurich North America, an insurance-based financial services provider. The two organizations recently developed a similar injury prevention program for construction workers that resulted in a greater than 30 percent reduction in strains, sprains and lower back injuries.