OSHA Targets Midwest Road Construction Sites to Protect Workers

OSHA will launch inspections in April to reduce fatalities, injuries and illnesses at road construction zones in Illinois, Wisconsin and Ohio.

The targeted enforcement program was prompted by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st century which authorized $218 billion for construction work to maintain and improve the nation's aging roadways.

Road construction zones nationwide are estimated to increase by 66 percent over the next six years.

OSHA will conduct approximately 300 construction zone inspections prior to Oct. 1.

Road construction workers are exposed to safety and health hazards which often lead to serious physical harm and death.

In the last five years, there have been 54 fatalities at road construction zones in the Midwest.

"Our goal is to identify and remove potential risks to road construction workers. There is a clear need to take a proactive approach to save lives and prevent injuries," said OSHA Regional Administrator Michael G. Connors in Chicago.

According to OSHA, the majority of the fatalities involved workers who were struck by motorists and construction vehicles.

Roadway workers also face hazards from crane use, trench activities, falls from heights, lead exposure, silica exposure, and other hazards.

To ensure that appropriate hazards are addressed during the inspections, OSHA has entered into a partnership agreement with the National Safety Council to provide joint training for OSHA inspectors.

The agency also plans to conduct quarterly meetings with road construction contractors to make construction zones safer for workers and motorists.

Free on-site consultative services to help employers comply with safety and health regulations is available.

Contact your local OSHA area office for information regarding this service or the road construction zone initiative.

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