Safety Source: Work Zone Awareness

Work zones are necessary to allow for the maintenance and enhancement of our nation’s roadways. Proper work zones provide a protective barrier separating maintenance activities, workers, and equipment from road users, including motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. While the function of these work zones is to protect individuals on both sides of the barriers, improper work zone set-ups, distracted drivers, speeding, and failure to comply with posted signage can lead to tragic results.

According to 2019 data from the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse, 842 work zone fatalities occurred throughout the year. The largest number of these fatalities (690) involved drivers or passengers, while work zone workers accounted for 135 deaths. These numbers all represented an increase from the previous year. In order to prevent additional, unnecessary fatalities in work zone areas, certain precautions must be followed such as:

  • Commuters should plan ahead and avoid work zones when possible. Finding alternate routes will aid in work zone safety and alleviate traffic congestion along the journey.
  • Distractions such as cell phones should always be avoided while driving. However, this is particularly true when traveling through a work zone where factors like reduced speeds and lane changes can occur quickly and frequently.
  • Speeding was a factor in 31% of work zone fatalities in 2019. It is critical that all vehicles obey posted speed limits when approaching and passing through work zone areas while also accounting for congestion and the speed of others around them. Motorists may need to proceed slower than the posted limit in many instances.
  • Motorists must allow a safe distance between their vehicles and those in front of them. With large, slow-moving vehicles, sudden stops, and frequent slowdowns in work zone areas, rear-end collisions commonly occur.


American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) | National Work Zone Safety


Our industry takes pride in advancing safety in all aspects of life. Deep South Crane & Rigging, LLC's marketing team has prepared this content with the intent that it be shared as potential safety topics used to start meetings industry-wide. We have used internet resources that are sourced via links throughout the article. We do not claim to be experts on this topic.

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Safety Source: Fall Prevention

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