The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) will provide highway work zone safety training classes in 2015 after receiving the $135,000 Susan Harwood Training Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The association will use the funds to offer safety training classes designed to prevent injuries among highway, street and bridge construction workers, officials said.
"No amount of safety gear will protect a worker if they get hit by a speeding vehicle," said Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC’s CEO. "The best defense from crashes is teaching crews how to set up and operate safer work zones."
According to the latest federal safety data, from 2003 to 2010, 962 workers were killed at road construction sites between 2003 and 2010. Meanwhile, a survey conducted by the association last spring found that 45 percent of contractors had vehicles crash into their work zones during the past year. Workers are injured in 20 percent of those crashes and killed in 6 percent of those crashes.
The highway work zone safety program will be offered in eight different locations beginning in January 2015. Sandherr added that AGC expects the training to have the impact of reaching and protecting thousands of workers on hundreds of job sites by incorporating best practices that will be used over and over. The program will provide comprehensive information about proper set up of highway work zones, flagger safety and heavy equipment management, he added.
In addition to the highway work zone program, the association offers a variety of safety programs and materials that many member construction firms currently use on areas such as fall protection, crane safety and safety program management. AGC offers educational materials to member firms as well as online and in-seat safety training programs.
"Our goal is clear, we want every worker to go home safe and healthy, every day," Sandherr said.