In early April, a worker with AT&T needed to perform a task that required him to close off a Murfreesboro lane in Franklin. AT&T hired a private security company to protect areas in the work zone. However, a driver in the area turned right into the open lane on Murfreesboro Road and struck a trailer. The trailer swung and hit the worker, who was then thrown underneath his AT&T truck, where he sustained serious injuries.
The private security team was of no use, considering the guards were unmarked, without reflective clothing and did not flash any warning lights that would indicate to drivers that there was a work zone present.
Both Drivers and Workers Must Take Extra Precautions in Work Zone Areas
It’s simply a fact that Tennessee has extreme weather changes. This combined with age means that roads, power lines and other aspects of infrastructure are going to require maintenance and improvements. However, work zones have become more dangerous to both the workers and drivers in Tennessee.
Drivers tend to bypass or ignore work zone signs that ask for slower speeds, greater caution and a heightened alertness. In order to safely drive through road work zones, drivers must do the following:
- Drive at the work zone speed limit
- Do not engage in distracted driving, including phone use or changing the radio stations
- Be alert for more than just workers, as there is often dangerous equipment on the road
- Give your full attention to the roadway changes the work zone has created
- Pay attention to merge signs and workers who direct traffic with flags
- Avoid changing lanes, if at all possible
- Turn on your headlights to be extra visible to workers
Workers, on the other hand, must worry about standard workplace safety hazards, including machine or fall hazards, while at the same time remaining weary of passing drivers. As such, work zones should have advanced warning signs that properly alert drivers to the changing road conditions and include cones, barrels barriers and the like. Workers must always wear safety gear and have the proper safety training. Additionally, workers should make sure they are not in any blind spots of passing cars.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill can never be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16