BATON ROUGE, La. -- LWCC salutes the "Let them work, let them live" campaign sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) to promote safety in work zones on the state's roads and highways.
LWCC (Louisiana Workers' Compensation Corporation) is committed to vehicle safety awareness since vehicle crashes are the leading cause of both on- and off-the-job injuries.
In 2004, the most recent year for which figures are available from the federal Fatality Analysis Reporting System, 14 people were killed in Louisiana's work zones. This number represents a 35 percent increase from 2003, when nine people died. Work-zone fatalities nationally have been increasing for more than a decade. Between the years 1995 and 1999, a work-zone fatality occurred once every 11.4 hours; from 1999 to 2003, a work-zone fatality occurred once every 8.3 hours.
According to Johnny B. Bradberry, DOTD secretary, "Work zones simply require more focus than roads without construction, and that's why lower speed limits are posted--to allow drivers time to avoid becoming a statistic or making someone else one."
"Safety is no accident. It takes an organizational commitment from the top down," says Kristin Wall, president and CEO of LWCC. "We stress the importance of safety to our policyholders because it is something they can actually control and it can have a huge impact not only on the lives of their employees, but also on their bottom line."
LWCC urges employers to develop a construction work-zone plan for employees who drive vehicles on the job to minimize the risk of injury to themselves and others. Here are some tips all drivers should follow while on the road:
- Avoid cell phone usage.
- Observe posted speed limits.
- Stay alert.
- Don't tailgate.
- Use headlights.
- Do not drive when fatigued.
- Observe flags and signs of workers.
"The next time you encounter a construction work zone while driving, keep in mind that the workers are striving to improve the quality of the roads you travel to make for a safer, smoother ride," says Wall.
"The workers are not a roadblock between you and your destination. They are someone's mother, father, aunt, uncle, sister, brother, or best friend. Slow down, be alert and pay them the respect they deserve."