However, Hallowell also indicated that safety program elements that are physically implemented in organizations and work sites often lack connections to specific models of incident causation. That is, to be effective, it is important that safety programs take into consideration the established models of incident causation and target eliminating those behaviors, conditions, and operations that are shown to lead to incidents.
Lacking such a connection, a safety program will not necessarily lead to improved safety. It provides visual representations of construction industry statistics and simple, easy-to-comprehend descriptions of industry data. In this format, the data are summarized and presented in figures and tables. Figures 1 and 2 are example figures taken directly from The Construction Chart Book and show how injuries and fatalities are distributed by cause in the construction industry.
Source: CPWR The data used for these figures relates to the construction industry as a whole and does not specifically target highway workers.
Road signs in the United States
The Construction Chart Book is one of the most comprehensive repositories of safety and other statistics in the construction industry. This section explores the different sets of publicly available data and the background research that has used or sought to improve the data sets. The publicly available data sets are explored in greater depth for the specific information they provide to highway worker safety in chapter four. These data sources publicly available databases report raw data.
Chapter four explores the uses for these databases. This section explores the six databases and other published data sources that synthesize data related to highway worker safety. This information is published on the BLS website and is searchable by industry, allowing the identification of incidents that occurred in highway work sites BLS OSHA also reports Inves- tigation Summaries for fatalities and catastrophes that occur in the workplace. Note: OSHA defines a catastrophe as a workplace incident that results in the overnight hospitalization of one employee.
These summaries are searchable by industry and key word in the online database OSHA Hinze et al.
Since the publication of that journal article, OSHA has increased the specificity of crash causes in the database, particularly with detailed key words. The reports are detailed and provide a description of the incident. Over the years, the police crash reports have been inconsistent on how they document fatal crashes that occur in work zones. Because FARS is based on these police crash reports, the database coding has some different searchable factors over time.
In , a study published in the Transportation Research Record explored individual state reports and how the states quantified work zone incidents Ullman and Scriba This limitation may be the result of the discrepancies found in the reporting of work zone incidents identified in the report NHTSA The project was administered by the National Academy of Sciences NAS and TRB and resulted in a database that, to different extents, can be used by researchers to better understand real-world driver behavior and analyze traffic incidents Campbell This research is ongoing but maintains an online database with some of the data collected to date.
State DOTs also maintain their own internal databases of traffic and worker incidents within their states. Each of these databases is different based on the type and volume of data the state chooses to collect and archive.
inspection and citation guidance for roadway and highway construction work zones Manual
Therefore, the detail and availability of the data from the state archives vary. The Construction Chart Book presents data in the form of charts, figures, and graphs. Although this publication presents analyses of the entire construction industry, some visuals specifically relate to highway construction and maintenance CPWR Figure 3 is an example directly from The Construction Chart Book that makes specific references to highway construction. Figure 3 is representative of the type of data available in The Construction Chart Book.
Although the data are more useful in determining overall trends and characteristics of the construction industry, select tables and figures provide insight into the nationwide highway construction and maintenance industry. This resource also focuses on the types of safety practices that are in use, the impact of those safety practices, influence factors, and communication and education. All of these sections provide the reader with visual representations of the practices and how the practices affect positively and negatively the construction and maintenance industry.
The data are particularly useful in that they show the frequency at which construction and maintenance firms use different pro- grams and education methods McGraw Hill Construction The content is not limited to any one industry. Subsequent sections of the publication divide nationwide statistics into cat- egories, such as occupational, motor vehicle, and home and community incidents.
The occupational category of injury and fatality incident statistics pertains most directly to highway workers because their occupation places them at risk of injury or death while on the job. However, some of the general information can provide context in the form of potential trends in occupational incidents related to highway workers who are employed by state DOTs. Using data from , the NSC reports more than 1. This is not limited to state DOTs and includes all agencies within state government. Approximately , of the national lost-time injuries and illnesses were recorded for local government employees; the remainder was for private industry employees NSC The NSC publication also provides general information on the estimated economic cost of occu- pational incidents.
In addition to the monetary cost, the NSC recorded the lost time. In in the United States, among all industries, the total time lost was 99 million days, with 65 million of those days lost because of work-related injuries NSC However, the data categories most closely matching highway workers are the construction industry and gov- ernment employees NSC Neither of these provides enough detail to observe the unique risks and incidents associated with highway construction and maintenance workers.
Although the data sources mentioned are national databases or publications and are publicly available, individual states also maintain in-state records and data for the safety records for their individual agencies. More discussion on state data sources available to individual state DOTs is provided with the survey results in chapter three.
However, national data can be used to normalize incident rates and find common areas of concern among different states.
This report is published at the national level to assist states and provide guidance on common work zone issues. The best practices identified by this guidebook are categorized into 11 topics and 49 key words to allow users to search the practices by a particular topic. States have enacted their own policies and guidance for improving safety in highway work sites. These programs direct the decision making of state DOTs based on the governing federal policies. Some of the state SHSPs that specifically outline priorities in work sites are summarized here.
The strategies for improving work zone safety involve the three Es: engineering, enforcement, and education. The report specifically identifies that Illinois work zone speed laws are weak and do not allow for adequate enforcement Illinois Department of Transportation The report indicates options to improve safety that are being explored. In addition, it outlines strategies for improving work zone design and educating the public about safety in work zones Massachusetts Department of Transportation The data include types of incidents and the demographics of those involved in the incidents.
The report specifically recognizes that, for Minnesota, there is an overrepresentation of commercial vehicles involved in work zone incidents and indicates this is a safety focus area for the state Minnesota Department of Transportation The report identifies strategies to meet an objective of preventing a continued increase in work zone-related collisions; the state saw such an increase between and Some of the strategies include improved law enforcement and first responder training relating to work zones South Carolina Department of Transportation The report also states a WZSTF priority of maintaining worker training and improving public notification of work zones Washington State Department of Transportation State and federal policies drive decision making in terms of protecting highway workers and preventing incidents.
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These policies vary in effectiveness based on how they are communicated and how they are implemented. In addition, the policies need to be accepted as effective for improving safety to ensure continued compliance with the policies among state DOTs. In addition to legal policies produced by state and federal government agencies, the construction and maintenance industry makes recommendations on programs and policies that have demonstrated the potential to improve safety.
The following literature is a collection of documents describing research conducted for the construction and maintenance industry as a whole, elements of which can be directly applicable to highway work sites.
The text presents six principles the authors think are important to fostering a healthy safety culture on a work site. These principles are Fleming et al. These principles are described and promoted similarly in other publications on safety culture in the construction and maintenance industry. Although this document is not detailed and provides only general recommendations that accompany each principles, it is good source for the understanding of the different aspects of a safety program.
In addition, because this document is an Australian publica- tion, it can give safety officials in the United States a new perspective on safety programs. As innovative safety initiatives are adopted by industry, it is important that research be produced to discuss and analyze such initiatives for the implementation of these program elements.
Instituting safety programs that rely on leading indicators is becoming more accepted and more common in the construction and maintenance industry. Leading indicators represent the conditions and behaviors exhibited in a workplace that provide an indication of the level of safety performance.
In contrast, lagging indicators e. Monitoring leading indicators may be new to some state agencies. When a concept is in its infancy, it is more likely to be implemented incorrectly. To counter this possibility, the Construction Industry Institute CII published a report that outlines a nine-step process for implementing active leading indicator safety ideas. Source: CII The entire process is based on the idea of improvements and adjustments being made as necessary throughout the course of implementation.
This is related primarily to the elimination of trans- portation user fatalities, as opposed to those of workers, but all are included FHWA d.
TOSHA Directive Index
A report by Hinze and Wilson examines the progress in the construction and maintenance industry after the zero injury objective gained traction. The authors indicate that safety programs are becoming more common and more effective. Because safety programs are becoming more common, the next logical progression is evaluating the existing programs and making improvements.
In some cases, large private construction and maintenance companies draft their own safety programs and policies that are applied on all of their projects. This requirement adds consistency to the safety regimens from project to project, with the intention of improving institutional safety. One such company is the Howard S.
Wright Construction Co. The companywide safety guide includes directives for administration officials and detailed requirements for workers in many common work scenarios; the directives concern issues such as personal protective equipment, fall protection, tools, heavy machinery, and specialty machinery HSWCC n. Another company with a comprehensive safety plan is Skanska. Whether the safety measure is a federal, state, or company guideline or policy, it is important that workers follow it during the course of the work.
Maintaining consistent safety programs that are easily understood by workers at highway work sites results in safer work sites for workers and motorists. Understanding this risk and the hazards that create the risk is vital to protecting highway workers to the greatest degree possible. Some of the risk results from the inherent qualities of the work itself, including the geographic fea- tures of the work site.
Risk of injury and fatality is also the result of human factors and human error on the part of the worker or motorists traveling within highway work sites. Early investigations into work-related incidents were aimed at quantifying the extent to which human behavior contributes to injury incidents and revealed behavior to be a significant factor.
Heinrich proposed that management personnel in an organization have the best opportunity and ability to initiate the work of prevention, so management assumes the responsibility. Contemporary literature strongly supports this axiom of management involvement and suggests examining the entire organizational and industry spectra to understand fully the causes of injuries and how to prevent them Rasmussen et al.
The roadway type also contributes to risk for workers near the roadside. The diversity of the struc- ture of state DOTs means that, depending on which agency employs the worker, the worker could be exposed to different functional roadway classifications, each associated with a different level of exposure and risk. Many state DOTs construct and maintain primary routes, which generally have. The severity of crashes has been shown to increase as the speed of passing traffic increases Aarts and van Schagen Therefore, the risk for employees is higher on routes that the state DOTs are more likely to construct and maintain.
According to this literature, to be effective the prevention measures implemented by an organi- zation must address human factors at their foundational level and apply prevention measures at all levels in an organization. These behaviors can exist anywhere within an organization and be the cause of an injury incident. For example, a worker at the front line may poorly assess the risk present in a situation and cause an injury incident.
In addition, a decision made with indifference at a management level may cause a worker on the site to act in a certain way that leads to an injury. The literature argues that safety management programs be designed to address all of these unsafe human behaviors and eliminate such behaviors at all levels within an organization. With regard to worker injuries from crashes, multiple risk factors, including at-fault driver, envi- ronmental condition, crash information, road condition, driver error, and others, have been identified Li and Bai The researchers determined how these risk factors affected the severity of work zone crashes in Kansas.
Statistical analyses were used to determine which factors were significant, such as driver error, vehicle type, light conditions, age, and gender. The researchers concluded that additional efforts to improve compliance with existing work zone traffic laws could reduce driver risk. In another study, McAvoy et al. The researchers used their risk factors to test the performance of alternative work zone configurations in a driving simulator environment.