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National Work Zone Awareness Week starts today

Do your part by keeping your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel

National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) begins today with a straightforward theme: Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives.

Statistics are sobering. In 2019, 842 people were killed in 762 fatal crashes in work zones, including 135 roadway workers, according to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse. That means most of the people killed were motorists, passengers and pedestrians.

“National Work Zone Awareness Week is meant to heighten everyone’s awareness of the need to be alert when approaching a work zone and then traveling safely through the area,” said ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner. “Everyone’s safety is at risk in these work zones and we want everyone—workers, motorists and their passengers--to get to their destinations and home again safely.”

The week’s activities include:

Today - Work Zone Safety Training Day, in which employers and workers are encouraged to pause voluntarily during the workday for safety demonstrations, training in hazard recognition and fall prevention, and talks about hazards, protective methods and the company’s safety policies, goals and expectations.

Tuesday - National Kickoff Event, 11 a.m. EDT, hosted by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). The event will be livestreamed from an MDOT project site with several Michigan officials scheduled to speak including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, MDOT Director Paul C. Ajegba, Col. Joseph Gasper of Michigan State Police, and the mother of a roadway worker killed on the job.

Wednesday - Go Orange Day, when individuals are encouraged to wear orange as a visual reminder of work zones. Help spread the word via social media by posting photos of your Go Orange Day activities using hashtags #NWZAW and #GoOrange4Safety.

Take part in the NWZAW Texting Challenge this week. Here’s how it works:

Type the message: “Drive safe. Work safe. Save lives.” directly into your social media post on your phone WITHOUT LOOKING, but not while driving. It will probably look like gibberish similar to this: Drogw xzvd zjcn xz d sa s NH xz

Then paste the following message below your nonsense text:

Think you can send a text safely while driving? I tried to type the slogan “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 (replace with your friends here) to take the National Work Zone Awareness Week Texting Challenge. Type the above slogan onto your own social page using your phone without looking (no computers!). Paste this paragraph below your text and tag three more people. #NWZAW #WorkZoneSafety

NWZAW, now in its 21st year, was formed by ATSSA, AASHTO and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The partnership expanded to include the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), Maryland State Highway Administration (MSHA), D.C. Department of Transportation (D-DOT), Associated General Contractors (AGC) and American Road & Transportation Builders (ARTBA), plus support from many individuals and organizations touched by work zone safety.

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