The construction industry has prioritized safety since the beginning. To this day, jobsite safety is a top priority. But in order to make a safer highway for all, we need the entire nation to commit to work zone safety. That’s why National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an annual campaign. Its mission, this week and every year, is to spread awareness about the deadly dangers of inattention at highway work areas.
NWZAW held its first national event more than twenty years ago in Virginia, following years of diligent efforts by a group of Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) staff members. Finally, in December of 1999, ATSSA approached the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to launch the first official NWZAW.
Their story shows that it takes a team to make an impact on safety. We all play a role in work zone safety, no matter if we are driving a car full of family members or leading a crew on the jobsite. This year’s theme, “Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives” reflects the need for all of us to come together for the sake of safety. What does this theme mean for you?
Drivers, this one’s for you: give the work zone your undivided attention. When you’re driving past roadway construction, slow down and follow all posted sign’s directions. But don’t stress, it’s important to stay as calm as you are alert.
Construction crews know that they play a crucial role in maintaining workplace safety. They’re committed to developing new technologies to take workers out of dangerous situations as well as dedicating every action they make to the safety of all.
Together, we can realize the ultimate goal of “zero deaths on our roads and in our work zones.”
This year, Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will host a week of events to honor NWZAW:
Monday, April 26: Work Zone Safety Training Day
Click here for resources to host your own hazard training during the workday.
Tuesday, April 27: Michigan Kickoff Event
Click here to join the livestream.
Wednesday, April 28: Go Orange Day
Show your support for roadway safety by wearing orange! Post a photo in your high-vis gear to social media and tag #GoOrangeOhio to be entered into our giveaway! You could win a gift basket of more than $200 worth of fun items to celebrate Go Orange Day. You, or the company you represent, must be located in Ohio to be eligible to win.
Thursday, April 29: Social Media Storm
Set your reminder: share on your social about the importance of work zone safety with #NWZAW and #WorkZoneSafety between 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST. and retweet relevant posts between 1:00-2:00 p.m. EST.
Thursday, April 29: Work Zone Data Exchange Project Webinar
Click here to register for the webinar, which will be held 12:00-1:30 p.m. EST.
We encourage you to get involved when you can, where you can. One of the easiest ways to get involved is available right in the palm of your hand:
NWZAW Texting Challenge
Without looking at your phone type, “Drive safe. Work safe. Save lives.” on social. Just please don’t post while driving. Once you see the gibberish you’ve posted, paste this message below your nonsense text: “I tried to type “Drive safe. Work safe. Save lives.” on my phone without looking (not while driving) and this is how it turned out. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents. I challenge @friend1, @friend2 and @friend3 to take the National Work Zone Awareness Week Texting Challenge. Type the above slogan into your own social post using your phone without looking (no computers!), paste this paragraph below your text and tag three more people. #NWZAW #WorkZoneSafety”
Let’s all commit to work zone safety this week and every week.