- CAIT Main
- Infrastructure Areas
- Program Sites
- ANDERS - Automated Nondestructive Evaluation and Rehabilitation System
- BEAST - Bridge Evaluation and Accelerated Structural Testing
- CAES - Center for Advanced Energy Systems
- FMP - Freight and Maritime Program
- ICMP - Infrastructure Condition Monitoring Program
- IMG - Information Management Group
- LESS - Laboratory for Energy Smart Systems
- LPS - Laboratory for Port Security
- LTBP - Long-Term Bridge Performance Program
- NJ LTAP - NJ Local Technical Assistance Program
- PRP - Pavement Resource Program
- PSSP - Pipeline Safety and Security Program
- SAM - Structures and Advanced Materials
- SSML - Soil and Sediment Management Laboratory
- TSRC - Transportation Safety Resource Center
- TTG - Technology Transfer Group
RECAP: 14th Annual Work Zone Safety Conference
Each year in April, the New Jersey Work Zone Safety Partnership (NWZSP) hosts a conference in observance of National Work Zone Awareness Week to improve safety for workers and motorists in road construction areas. On April 23, 2013, NJ LTAP hosted the 14th Annual Work Zone Safety Conference for 300 construction, maintenance and operations, public works, and law enforcement employees that focused on this year's National Work Zone Awareness Week theme: "We're All In This Together."
Ernie Blais, division administrator for the FHWA New Jersey Division opened the conference with remarks that highlighted some of the history of National Work Zone Awareness Week, while Richard Shaw-assistant commissioner of NJDOT Operations-offered insight into day-to-day life of road work personnel.
Shaw emphasized the importance of proper work zone protection measures, citing his experiences in the field and the reality of working alongside speeding motorists.
"It's nerve-wracking to have to work under those conditions when you're trying to improve infrastructure for everyone," Shaw said. "That's why everyone has a role to play in work zone safety."
Keynote speaker Ken Wood, a FHWA Resource Center traffic operations engineer, spoke about multiple work zone considerations, including driver perception of work zone configurations and safe work practices.
"Work zone congestion is the second leading cause of public dissatisfaction with transportation," Wood said, adding that healthy communication on traffic delays and alternate routes is critical to mobility.
Wood urged the audience to become more "customer focused" in their planning and design of work zones, and that "the way we always do it" might not be sufficient anymore.
Robert Kulick, regional administrator for the United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (USDOL-OSHA), outlined the recently issued OSHA Work Zone Compliance Directive that standardizes sign, signal, and barricade placement; general enforcement guidelines and violation citations; and other best practices for safety.
Lou Ricca, a senior safety consultant with the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)-the oldest construction-related organization in the United States-spoke about preventing vehicle runovers and backovers with simply safety solutions.
Work zone equipment is essential in helping motorists recognize work zones and identify workers within them. Leah Picone, a government transportation specialist with 3M, outlined retroreflectivity standards for drums and demonstrated how retroreflective striped equipment was significantly more visible than traditionally striped drums. Picone said these fluorescent materials make colors appear brighter and make motorists much more attentive.
To cap off the event, USDOL-OSHA response coordinator John Mazur moderated a panel of experts from OSHA and the NJ State Police that expanded on Kulick's OSHA Work Zone Compliance Directive presentation. The panel reviewed nearly every cornerstone of work zone safety, from OSHA inspection guidelines to mitigating citations.