National Work Zone Awareness Week

IDG ECHOS: Effectively Communicating Hazards of Occupational Safety. Designed to deliver safety tips and communicate updates.

Observance of 2015 National Work Zone Awareness Week, March 23 - 27

National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an annual spring campaign held at the start of construction season to encourage safe driving through highway work zones and construction sites.

High-visibility apparel

With such strict regulations on high-visibility apparel, how can a worker stay comfortable and compliant?

High-visibility apparel is now required personal protective equipment in more and more places. Certainly on roadways, but also in construction work zones, transportation and public safety. ANSI 107 Class 2 vests remain a very common and economical way for employers to keep their workers safe and visible. However, increasingly workers are demanding and benefitting from “single garment compliance solutions” such as T-shirts, sweatshirts and jackets that provide visibility while also helping them manage the elements of their application and increasing their comfort. In warm applications and climates, workers may choose to wear a T-shirt or polo that is both high-visibility and can serve as their primary garment, not having to layer a vest over a non-compliant shirt. Moisture-wicking and anti-odor technologies keep workers cooler and fresher. When selecting these types of products, look for garments with heat-transfer reflective material (instead of reflective that is sewn on) to further increase worker comfort.

ANSI Standards

Within ANSI 107, three classes of conspicuity are defined:

Class 1

  • Worker can give full and undivided attention approaching traffic.
  • Ample separation between worker and vehicular traffic.
  • Background is not too complex.
  • Vehicle/equipment speeds do not exceed 25 mph.

 Class 2

  • Greater visibility is desired during inclement weather.
  • Complex backgrounds are present.
  • Employees perform tasks that divert attention away from approaching vehicles.
  • Vehicle/equipment speeds exceed 25 mph, but less than 50 mph.
  • Work activities take place in or near vehicle traffic space.

 Class 3

  • Vehicle/equipment speeds exceed 50 mph.
  • Worker and vehicle operator have high task loads.
  • Wearer must be conspicuous through the full range of body motions at a minimum of a ¼ mile (390 m) and must be identifiable as a person.

Work Zone Facts

  • During peak construction season, approximately 20% of our nation’s highway system is under construction with more than 3,000 work zones.
  • Approximately 12 billion vehicle miles of travel a year will be through active work zones.
  • Motorists can expect to encounter an active work zone 1 out of every 100 miles driven on the nation’s highway system.
  • More than 40,000 people are injured each year as a result of crashes in work zones.
    • One work zone fatality every 8 hours – 3 per day
    • One work zone injury every 9 minutes – 160 per day


Every year, safety incidents in the workplace cause employee injuries, resulting in unnecessary pain, suffering and time off work. All of these incidents are preventable.

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