National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an annual event across the United States highlighting the importance of work zone safety. The National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) takes place April 17-21, 2023, in conjunction with National Occupational Research Agenda’s (NORA) Construction Stand-down to Prevent Struck-by Incidents event. This week reminds drivers to slow down and pay attention when driving through work zones to keep everyone safe.
In 2020, the year with the most recent available data, 774 fatal work zone crashes occurred, killing 857 people. While most of those killed were motorists and their passengers, 117 workers died in work zone crashes.
To get involved as an employer, participate in next week’s daily NWZAW events:
- Monday, April 17: Work Zone Safety Training Day is used to train employees on potential struck-by risks on the job and educate them on preventing struck-by incidents from being the leading cause of death among construction workers.
- Tuesday, April 18: The National Kickoff Event will provide education on the importance of work zone safety.
- Wednesday, April 19: Go Orange Day is when all road workers are encouraged to wear orange to show their support for work zone safety.
- Thursday, April 20: Social Media Storm is when the NWZAW team encourages posting about the importance of work zone safety on social media channels and tagging them with #NWZAW and #WorkZoneSafety.
- Friday, April 21: Moment of Silence remembers all workers, motorists, and passengers that lost their lives in work zone-related incidents.
Even after NWZAW concludes, employers should communicate openly with their employees concerning struck-by accidents and safe driving practices and implement safety measures in work zones to prevent an incident.
Sample language for commercial driver communication:
For National Work Zone Awareness Week, it is essential to be aware of work zones and to take precautions to ensure the safety of yourself and others. Here are five tips for staying safe in work zones:
Slow down: When approaching a work zone, slow down and obey the posted speed limit. Speeding is a leading cause of accidents in work zones, and it can be deadly for workers and other drivers.
Stay alert: Pay attention to the signs and signals in work zones, and be prepared for unexpected changes in traffic patterns. Work zones can be confusing, so staying alert and focused on the road is essential.
Keep a safe distance: Maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle before you, and be prepared to stop suddenly if necessary. You will need more time to react to unexpected changes in traffic patterns.
Watch for workers: Be aware of workers in the work zone, and give them plenty of space. Workers may be operating heavy machinery or working close to traffic, so it’s important to be cautious and provide them with the right of way.
Avoid distractions: Avoid using your phone or other electronic devices while driving through work zones. Distracted driving is dangerous in any situation but can be especially deadly in work zones.
Remember, work zones are temporary, but the consequences of unsafe driving can last a lifetime.
Please note that the information contained in this posting is designed to provide general awareness in regard to the subject matter covered. It is not provided as legal, medical, or tax advice, nor is it intended to address all concerns in your workplace or for public health. No representation is made as to the sufficiency for your specific company’s needs. This post should be reviewed by your legal counsel or tax consultant before use.