|Mandi Kime AGC Director of Safety at the WSDOT Work Zone Memorial|
|On April 23 Washington State Department of Transportation AGC and other partners recognized the more than 5000 WSDOT workers and the thousands of city county and contractor crews working to improve Washingtons roadways and the risks they face every day. The Work Zone Memorial is an annual ceremony to recognize roadway workers and honor those who have lost their lives in work zones.
Each accident no matter how small must be used as a learning lesson and we must use that knowledge to further safety for our industry said AGC Safety Director Mandi Kime during the ceremony. It is through that learning that partnerships with a passion for worker safety are born.
WSDOTs most recent worker fatality was in 2002 but sadly four contractor workers lost their lives in the past two years working on WSDOT projects. WSDOT will submit these four names for inclusion on the National Work Zone Memorial Wall which happens to be at WSDOTs Headquarters Building for the 2009 WSDOT Work Zone Memorial.
There were more than 10500 work zone collisions reported between 2000 and 2008. More than 6000 of these collisions resulted in injuries including 59 fatalities. The majority of the deaths and injuries were to vehicle drivers and passengers.
One of the newest ways WSDOT is attempting to reduce speeds through the work zone is an automated traffic safety camera which was on display as a part of the Work Zone Memorial ceremony. Just days later WSDOT launched the second activation of this new safety device.
Speed continues to be the leading cause of work zone collisions so we are asking drivers to slow down and pay attention when driving through work zones said WSDOT Secretary Paula Hammond. The men and women who work on our state and local highways are often working in and near traffic and we want everyone to go home to their loved ones at the end of their work day.