According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), buses and heavy vehicles have been involved in nearly one-third of all fatal crashes in construction zones since 2016 for have contractors in the FHWA. These vehicles, which the NHTSA has designated as commercial motor vehicles, were involved in 196 crashes (or 29%) in a work zone in 2016. The most recent year for which data are available, 2020, had 774 fatal crashes in work zones. Of these crashes, 208 (or 27%) included CMVs. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the NHTSA recently released a report that explains why and offers contractors and other stakeholders a coordinated plan of action to lower the risk of CMV crashes.

CMVs are continually dominant in fatal work zone crashes compared to fatal non-work zone crashes, the report states, despite a minor decline in CMV-involved work zone fatal crashes in work zones in 2020.

 The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Every Day Counts initiative, in collaboration with highway officials and, used engineering & construction machinery supplier. They act as a catalyst to find and support low-cost innovations that can quickly bring about changes. Thus, it will improve the safety of our country’s highway system, shorten project completion times, and safeguard the environment.

Why need Safety Recommendations for Contractors in the FHWA

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has safety guidelines that contractors must follow for several reasons.

This is the top 10 reason: 

1. Legal Compliance:

FHWA safety guidelines guarantee that contractors abide by federal safety laws and guidelines. By adhering to these guidelines, contractors protect their employees and the public by lowering the possibility of legal ramifications and penalties for non-compliance.  

2. Worker Protection:

Enforcing FHWA safety guidelines places a high priority on safeguarding employees on building sites. These guidelines improve worker safety and lower the risk of accidents and injuries by addressing various topics, including hazard communication, safe work practices, and personal protective equipment (PPE).

3. Public Safety:

Construction sites frequently put people in danger, particularly near busy roads or other areas. By putting in place suitable traffic control measures, keeping safe distances from cars and pedestrians, and guarding work zones to prevent unlawful access, Safety recommendations assist contractors in the FHWA in reducing these risks.  

4. Project Efficiency:

By reducing downtime brought on by mishaps or injuries, safety suggestions also help projects run more smoothly. Employees who feel secure and comfortable in their workplace are more productive, frequently meet deadlines, and avoid expensive delays.  

5. Reputation Management:

Complying with FHWA safety guidelines improves contractors’ standing in the sector. Contractors that put safety first will have more trust from their clients, encouraging repeat business and good recommendations.

6. Cost Savings:

Although putting safety measures in place may have upfront costs, they frequently save money over time. Reduced costs for medical care, worker compensation claims, and possible legal expenditures are associated with fewer accidents. Furthermore, increased production and efficiency result in financial benefits for contractors.  

7. Regulatory Compliance:

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) standards and the FHWA’s safety recommendations are frequently in line with one another mini skid steers. By adhering to these tips, contractors can streamline their processes and minimize administrative expenses while ensuring compliance with various regulatory frameworks.  

8. Constant Improvement: 

Safety campaigns for a positive behavioral are used in the construction sector to improve safety standards continuously. By incorporating best practices and drawing lessons from previous occurrences, contractors can improve safety procedures and promote an innovative and safety-conscious culture. 

9. Risk Management:

Several inherent hazards are associated with construction projects, including safety-related ones. By assisting contractors in recognizing, evaluating, and successfully mitigating these risks, FHWA safety recommendations reduce the possibility of accidents and their possible influence on project outcomes.  

10. Stakeholder Confidence:

The safety of construction projects is important to stakeholders, who include the public, investors, and government organizations. Contractors show their dedication to safeguarding stakeholders’ interests and building confidence in their operations by following the contractors in the FHWA safety recommendations. Nonetheless, there has been a 2% drop in fatal crashes due to contractors’ persistent efforts to meet safety compliance requirements.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and FHWA Promotes Heavy Machinery; therefore, they released a paper outlining. Thus, heavy equipment owners could use tactics to establish a safe work environment. It also includes many aspects to consider and to lower the number of fatal collisions caused by large machines operating in construction zones.

Recent data indicates a decline in fatal collisions involving heavy machinery. Compared to their use in non-work zones, many pieces of equipment still have a high fatal crash ratio in work zones. Of the fatal crashes involving heavy machinery, 52% have occurred on the interstates; the ratio is split based on data gathered from construction zones in both urban and rural areas. Rear-end collisions account for 46% of crashes, nevertheless, according to the incident causes.

How Contractors Can Make Work Zones Safer

The paper describes concrete, voluntary steps contractors can take to address CMV safety in work zones, even though current CMV and work zone programs offer materials concerning a wide range of tactics that can be utilized to improve the safety of work zones for all users.

  1. As to the research, engineering is of utmost importance in the design of work zones when it comes to analyzing crash data, identification, design, implementation of safety enhancements, and staff training.
  2. Engineers should consider designing access/egress points and acceleration/deceleration on active roadways to ensure cars’ safe escape and return to the work zone.
  3. Public service announcements, behavioral safety campaigns, and training aimed at CMV and non-CMV drivers when driving through work zones are all examples of driver education.

The study recommends the following actions for contractors to take:

Contractors in the FHWA Engineering: 

When access points are not mentioned in contract plans, the FHWA advises contractors to provide training to staff members on best practices for work zone access point design concepts.

Driver Education:

The most important first line of defense against deadly collisions involving big machinery is driver education. The FHWA supports educational driver initiatives because it recognizes drivers as the primary heroes and victims of these tragic situations.

Also, the FHWA safety study states that the following topics need to be covered in the driver education program: 

Additionally, contractors are required by FHWA to adhere to all driver safety rules. Contractors or fleet owners will face harsh penalties if proven guilty. As a punishment, you must pay: 

Additionally, the employer must verify the driver’s license and comparable training qualifications of any truck or trailer driver before hiring them.

Further Recommendations FHWA

There are Further Recommendations FHWA provides for a safe zone. Contractors in the FHWA report highlights planning strategies that involve project engineers and drivers. Adopting the project-by-project basis principle is advised by the report.  Using this idea, we can talk about the places on a road where acceleration and deceleration occur.

It will also help facilitate and raise drivers’ understanding of safe entry and exit zones. For legal compliance, worker protection, public safety, project efficiency, reputation management, cost savings, regulatory compliance, continuous improvement, risk management, and stakeholder confidence, the FHWA’s safety guidelines for contractors are crucial. Contractors that prioritize safety reduce risks, improve project outcomes, and make the construction industry safer and more sustainable.

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