The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) recognized fallen workers earlier this week during the National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week kick-off. The celebration was held at the One Georgia Center and in attendance were many members from the transportation department and local government officials. This event was dedicated to the workers we’ve lost in unfortunate and preventable Atlanta work zone accidents.
Our Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers urge you to participate in Georgia’s “Go Orange!” work zone safety campaign in an attempt to reduce the dangers in our highway construction zones.
“The arrival of spring and warmer weather, coupled with construction through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, mean an increase in highway construction and heightens the risk for Georgia motorists and GDOT workers,” a press release said.
GDOT officials report that, in 2009, nearly 700 people died and almost 34,000 people were injured in road construction zones in the United States, according to Fox 31. The National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse reports that Georgia reported more than 30 deaths and almost 1,300 injures to those statistics.
“The biggest problem we have with that is motorist speeding through the work zone, not slowing down, and running what we’ve reduced the speed to; so speeding and then the other thing is texting and talking on the phone,” says Craig Solomon with the Georgia Department of Transportation.
Officials will be displaying 57 orange cones and will be wearing orange vests to alert drivers of the threats motorists pose to road workers. Officials are representing the 57 workers we’ve lost in work zones since 1973. Motorists present the greatest risk of threats to these employees. It is not uncommon for a Georgia construction employee to work in these zones while cars fly by at speeds of 65 miles per hour.
The National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse offers these tips to workers in the construction and maintenance zones:
-Make sure you and your employer have ensured adequate separation between workers and traffic.
-Make sure everyone on site is trained in federal- and state-approved traffic control
-Implement standards that require all workers to wear personal protective equipment, which can include hard hats, safety glasses, steel-toed boots, reflective vests, etc.
-Make sure appropriate safety devices are use, such as drums, cones, and a truck-mounted attenuator when working in a closed travel lane.
-Avoid using MP3 players, radios, televisions or any other distracting devices while on the job.
-Have a plan for escaping your work area to a safe location if something happens.
GDOT officials have presented this Work Zone Safety Presentation to help motorists practice more educated driving skills in these construction and maintenance zones.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident on the job in a Georgia work zone, contact the Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Law at J. Franklin Burns P.C. Call (404) 303-7700 to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.