By Katie Chimelewski, director of safety & certification, ARTBA

Transportation construction industry employers and public agency officials next week have three opportunities to improve work zone safety awareness and advocacy. Click the hyperlinks to learn more and register for these virtual events:

ARTBA created three new Forums as part of the association’s 2020-2022 Strategic Plan to focus on key policy priorities and provide a new way for members to share information. The Safety Forum will lead a review and update of the association’s safety policy statement, as well as its interactions with federal agencies.

Associate Administrator for Safety Cheryl J. Walker and Associate Administrator for Operations Martin C. Knopp of the Federal Highway Administration will give presentations at this debut meeting.

The Safety Forum is co-chaired by former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Jim Burney of Venable LLP; Laura Huizinga of Lindsay Transportation Solutions; and Lee Cole of CRH Americas Materials.

Cole, vice president of Environmental, Health and Safety, has been working with CRH employees to reduce falls from vehicles and equipment. The safety team incorporated a force plate into its training to demonstrate the pressure placed on the body when a person does not dismount properly.

“Engaging and empowering our employees is critical to our hazard assessment,” Cole said. “We reward our employees for speaking up and showing us a newer, safer way of working around the hazard.”

(PHOTO: Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge project in Washington, D.C., foreground, and nearby vertical construction are examples of the need to prevent falls. The bridge is expected to open in spring 2022. Brad Sant photo.)