44 Percent of Contractors Report Vehicles Crashing into Road Projects

June 5, 2017
AGC highway work zone safety survey

The Associated General Contractors of America surveyed more than 700 contractors during March and April and found 44 percent of the contractors had experienced vehicle crashes into their construction sites in 2016. Half of those reported an injury, and 13 percent said the accident resulted in a fatality. Contractors responding were in California, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

AGC said survey results led to its new campaign to alert drivers to the hazards of road workzone safety with radio ads telling drivers to put the phone down, look out for safety signage, and slow down.

See full survey results here.

Stephen Sandherr, CEO, said highway crashes such as those described in the survey injure construction workers 25 percent of the time, and kill them in 11 percent of the cases. "There is no meeting, email, or text that is more important than the safety of workers or motorists," he said in a press releast.

Here are some topics for your morning safety meetings:

  • Discuss what equipment will be in use that day and how it will affect traffic.
  • How is the day's weather going to impact the workzone. Discuss surface conditions, safety lighting, how excessive dust or moisture may affect traffic and drivers. Should barriers be repositioned to accommodate equipment operation or weather conditions?
  • Who is the designated competent person on the site for the day? What unsafe circumstances should be reported to him/her? Do you have a 'near-miss' policy that encourages workers to report close calls and how to train for them?
  • In the case of a vehicle crash, what immediate emergency procedures should workers take?
  • How many workers will be on site this day? Review need to keep the designated competent person aware if workers leave the site.
  • Are there temp or new hires in the workzone? Have they had safety training for your particular site? Do they have all necessary safety apparel? Does the apparel meet the ANSI 107 conspicuity class?
  • Is English the first language for all workzone personnel? If not, develop procedures to alert non-English speaking workers to oncoming dangers.
  • What hearing and vision protection is acceptable on the site? Personal protection devices should not limit the worker's side vision or hearing.
  • Discuss how to best deal with hostile drivers. The Construction Safety Council suggests you: Walk away; do not argue; be courteous but firm; Record a description of the car, driver, and license plate; Notify your supervisor; Warn fellow workers.