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NIOSH, OSHA, Roadway Work Zone Safety & Health Coalition Ally to Improve Safety

NIOSH Update:

Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 401-3749
November 26, 2003

Improving roadway work zone safety and health is the goal of a new Alliance that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has formed with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and The Roadway Work Zone Safety and Health Coalition.

“The Alliance reflects NIOSH’s belief that everybody wins when partners collaborate in setting and achieving strong workplace health and safety goals,”said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D.

“This Alliance bolsters our efforts to protect the health and safety of workers in roadway work zones,” said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. “Together, we create the synergy to focus more effectively on work zone safety and health issues on a national level and develop innovative solutions for reducing injuries and fatalities.”

The Coalition hailed the Alliance as “an avenue to help us focus on ‘value-added’ results – value added in terms of safe, healthy, productive employees. The goal is to ensure that roadway workers return safe and healthy to their families at the end of each workday.”

NIOSH, OSHA, and other members of The Roadway Work Zone Safety and Health Coalition will develop hazard awareness training and education programs on roadway work zone safety targeted to Spanish-speaking and “hard-to-reach” highway construction workers. Alliance members will encourage Coalition members and their affiliates to participate in OSHA’s cooperative programs such as compliance assistance, the Voluntary Protection Programs, Consultation, and its Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. In addition Coalition members will be encouraged to build relationships with OSHA’s Regional and Area offices to address work zone safety and health issues.

Through the Alliance, OSHA and The Roadway Work Zone Safety and Health Coalition will disseminate information and case studies that illustrate the business and social value for reducing work zone injuries and fatalities. Additionally, the members will share research findings with the construction industry so that the interventions and best practices described in training and outreach activities are based upon best-available scientific data.

The Roadway Work Zone Safety and Health Coalition members are NIOSH, the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), and the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE).

A joint team made up of representatives from all organizations will meet to develop a plan of action, determine working procedures, and identify the roles and responsibilities of the participants. In addition, they will meet at least quarterly to track and share information on activities and results in achieving the goals of the Alliance.

Each year, more than 100 employees are killed and more than 20,000 are injured in the highway and street construction industry. Further information on NIOSH research for preventing occupational injuries and deaths involving work zones and job-related motor vehicle use is available on the web at or from the NIOSH toll-free information number, 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674).