Highway construction is some of the most dangerous work there is, and LIUNA members receive the best safety training in the industry. But the best training can’t always prepare a worker for the unexpected distracted driver or someone speeding through a work zone. Work zone accidents most often end in injury or death.

Unfortunately, many highway construction workers know or are related to someone who has suffered from work zone mishap.

To help promote safe driving habits in work zones to the driving public, State Departments of Transportation, State Police Agencies, contractor associations and trade unions, including LIUNA, work together to commemorate National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) every April, the traditional start of the highway construction season.

The theme of this year’s commemoration is Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives, a reminder that we all need to work together — contractors, workers and the general public — to make safety a priority.

In past years, NWZAW has been a chance for the coalition to capture the public’s attention through press conferences, highway rest area outreach, and social media interaction of play. But despite limitations affecting the outreach, the message remains as strong and clear as ever.

“Work zone safety is really awareness for the general public as well as awareness for the construction worker,” said LIUNA Vice President and Midwest Regional Manager John Penn. “It’s very important that we make sure everyone understands that that we have human lives out there that are making roads safe for travel and that we all want to go home in the evening.”