Flatiron Partners with Highway Patrol to Make Work Zones Safer
Work zones are dangerous places for Flatiron employees as well as motorists. In 2010, motor vehicle accidents in work zones resulted in a total of 576 deaths across the country at a cost of $3 million each, according to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse. At Flatiron, we use traffic control measures and education to help protect all of our site personnel and traveling public. Recently our projects have seen an increase in incidents resulting in property damage, equipment damage and third-party fatalities. In an effort to address this recent increase, Flatiron’s Los Angeles/Orange County District requested support from the California Highway Patrol in Baldwin Park, Calif.
Officer Kerri Rivas helped gather additional CHP officers to instruct at the Los Angeles District’s second quarter foremen’s safety meeting on July 17. The officers presented information on the risks in a work zone, bad habits of motorists and statistics of work zone incidents. The team also presented a video of an incident on Interstate 405 and a physical demonstration of “DUI goggles.”
Marc Shaw, area commander of the CHP in Baldwin Park, identified three pillars of highway safety: enforcement, education and engineering:
• Enforcement—CHP officers are responsible for enforcing traffic laws, especially in work zones.
• Education—CHP partners with the local community and construction industry to conduct traffic safety presentations and collaborate on ways to improve work zone safety by sharing knowledge on construction and traffic.
• Engineering—the layout of the work zone and placement of signs, construction cones and vehicles can all impact the safety of the work zone.
Work zones are already engineered to limit potential risk for our employees and the public when they navigate them, but our impact is greater when we work with other groups. By communicating and sharing information and partnering with groups like the CHP, we have an opportunity to protect and save the lives of our employees, the traveling public and CHP officers. We also have the ability to impact legislation; the Associated General Contractors of America, of which Flatiron is a member, formed a committee to propose legislation reducing California speed limits in construction zones to 45 MPH.