Thursday, July 30, 2009


With federal stimulus money paving the way for new highway construction nationwide, and more people driving versus flying during the summer vacation season, highway workers face increasing danger.

To mitigate highway worker safety exposures, Zurich in North America and The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) have developed a new educational campaign to increase awareness of dangers while helping to reduce highway worker injuries and fatal accidents.

“This program is designed for all individuals involved in highway, street and road construction, utility installation, roadway maintenance and landscaping," said Forrest Ropp, Zurich's senior risk engineering consultant and project leader.

Ropp said the Highway Worker Safety Program is customizable program consisting of eight interactive modules that address areas such as traffic control, asphalt paving, bridge work, concrete paving, demolition work, earthwork and grading operations, short-term and mobile operations and utility and drainage work. The modules can be presented individually or in any combination depending on the need and availability of personnel.

Ropp said the program focuses on the leading causes of highway worker fatalities and serious soft tissue injuries and contains a hierarchy of safety controls, more than 80 minutes of video, trainer and trainee presentation materials, resource guides and module quizzes. The presentation package includes one Interactive DVD and one DVD-ROM with editable PowerPoint Presentation, one printed version of the Instructor's guide, and five printed versions of the Participant's Manual.

Similar programs developed by Zurich North America and The Association of General Contractors of America (Soft Tissue Injury Prevention Program – STIPP) have reportedly helped reduced the number of work related injuries as evidenced by a decrease in soft tissue injury claims.

Specifically, in the first six months of implementing an awareness STIPP, proactive customers reported decreases of 30-45 percent in strain, sprain, and lower back type injuries.

Zurich and the AGC said a similar impact from the Highway Workers Safety Program for the construction industry would be a tremendous result.

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