This year, the National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 9th – April 13th, 2018.
NWZAW is held annually at the start of the road construction season. It’s a national campaign to encourage roadway safety in areas where far too many accidents take place every year.
The campaign involves partnerships between state DOT’s, national road safety organizations, government agencies, and private companies. They all work together to raise awareness and to create positive change in roadway safety.
The NWZAW efforts include the following goals:
- Initiate efforts to raise awareness of the need for more caution when driving through work zones to decrease fatalities and injuries;
- Establish and promote a uniform set of safety tips;
- The value of training and importance of best practices in regard to work zone safety would be promoted among individuals in the private sector, industry, and roadway workers;
- Reach out to both roadway workers and contractors to communicate possible effects of motorists’ behavior in response to traffic delays, and advise on what steps might possibly be taken to lessen negative behavior; and
- Outreach efforts would be made to work with entities involved with work zone safety and to form partnerships.
The campaign promotes work zone safety in a number of ways. You can get involved by participating in one of their many NWZAW events.
Every year, the campaign holds a kickoff event in a different location throughout the country. The 2018 kickoff event was held on Tuesday, April 10th in Chicago, and was hosted by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Locations for the 2019 and 2020 events have yet to be determined.
Go Orange Day
On Wednesday April 11th, all roadway safety professionals are encouraged to wear orange in support of work zone safety. At 12:30 Eastern Time, the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) will be hosting a Facebook Live showcasing some of the men and women wearing orange in support of this cause.
If you’re unable to participate in the events above, you can still show your support by promoting roadway safety on social media, hanging posters at your workplace, and by becoming an active voice in your community.
The National Work Zone Memorial honors those who lost their lives in roadway work zones. There are currently 1,455 names of fallen roadway workers on the list. The Memorial travels around the country to raise awareness of roadway safety.
The Foundation is a nonprofit organization that manages the Memorial. The Foundation offers support to injured and fallen roadway workers and their families. Click here for information about adding names to the Memorial, and to view the schedule of when and where it will be next.
Doing Your Part
The key message for NWZAW is for drivers to use extra caution while traveling through work zones. What can you do to help make sure this week’s campaign is a success?
Use roadway safety for your next toolbox talk idea. Are there construction zones that your employees have to travel through to get to work? Ask them questions about those particular areas. What are some of the specific hazards of those work zones? How many construction work zones do they typically see during their commute?
Also, bring these same concepts home with you. Talk to your friends and families about the importance of roadway safety. Practice what you preach, and stay alert when driving through work zones in your own town.
Awareness can go a long way in protecting someone’s life. For more information about National Work Zone Awareness Week, visit their website at www.nwzaw.org.