Safety advocates are angry about slow regulatory processThe Indiana Department of Labor (IDOL) has launched a statewide safety initiative aimed at reducing workplace transportation-related deaths. Three Hoosier construction workers were killed while in a work zone in 2012.

“For Hoosier families, a transportation-related incident that takes the life of a loved one is a deep loss,” said IDOL Commissioner Sean M. Keefer. The state is urging construction contractors and industry workers to develop, implement and enforce construction work zone safety policies and procedures.

There are a variety of occupational safety hazards faced by workers laboring on roadway transportation projects:

  • Motorists can be confused by the signs, barrels, and unfamiliar lane shifts. This is especially true when motorists don’t slow down, stay alert and drive safely in these areas.
  • Some workers must operate in close proximity to large construction equipment and fast-moving, motor vehicle traffic.
  • Flaggers and other workers on foot are constantly exposed to being struck by traffic or backed over by other work zone construction equipment if they are not visible to motorists or equipment operators at all times.
  • Workers who operate construction equipment are at risk for overturns, collisions or being caught in equipment.
  • Work zones are often noisy work environments due to motor vehicle traffic as well as heavy equipment operations.

“The Indiana Department of Labor will work with companies, associations, and industry representatives to proactively address transportation-related hazards and exposures,” added Keefer. “Working together, we can reduce the number and severity of transportation-related incidents in and near construction work zones.”

“INDOT’s top priority is the safety of workers and the motoring public,” INDOT Commissioner Michael Cline said. “Our goal is to provide a safe working environment and reduce injuries and crashes using proven safety methods.”

Click here for more information about the Indiana safe work zone initiative.