Work Zone Injuries Happen Every 14 Minutes

Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:48pm EDT

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http://pdf.reuters.com/htmlnews/8knews.asp?i=43059c3bf0e37541&u=urn:newsml:reuters.com:20130412:nBw125796a

Travelers offers strategies for National Work Zone Awareness Week to help
workers and drivers stay safe
HARTFORD, Conn.--(Business Wire)--
Working in the street or highway can be as dangerous as it sounds. According to
the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were more than 37,000 injuries in
work zones and more than 500 fatalities in the most recent year reported. This
equates to one work zone injury every 14 minutes, 96 per day, or about four
people injured every hour.* Travelers is helping drivers and entities manage
this risk by offering important steps to help stay safe for National Work Zone
Awareness Week, April 15 - 21. 

"When an accident occurs in the work zone, it can have a significant impact to
the motorist, worker and the entire company," said Bob Kreuzer, Vice President,
Travelers Risk Control. "National Work Zone Awareness Week serves as a reminder
to drivers and job supervisors to stay focused on being safe in these areas. As
a large insurer of commercial drivers, construction firms and municipalities,
Travelers understands how things go wrong and implementing certain precautions
can greatly improve safety for these workers." 

For any organization with operations in streets or the nation`s highways, there
are important steps to take to help keep workers safe. They include:

* Have a Plan - Having a written Traffic Control Plan based on the Manual on
Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) or state requirements, whichever is more
stringent, is critical in that it is the foundation for safety within work
zones. 
* Slow Traffic - The signage a driver and/or pedestrian experiences before
entering a work zone in the advanced warning area can influence their movement
through the work zone. 
* Create a Barrier - While the type and extent of barriers utilized within a
work zone are typically dictated within contract documents, the type of barrier
ultimately used can mean the difference between protecting workers or not. 
* Be Visible - Make sure workers are visible with the appropriate
high-visibility apparel. This includes bright colors during the day and
retro-reflective gear when working in the dark.

Drivers traveling through work zones should also pay extra attention as traffic
patterns may change, following distances can be reduced, and equipment, road
materials and workers may unexpectedly enter the driving lane. 

"There is a lot happening in the roadway leading up to a work zone, and in the
work zone itself, which means there is more that can potentially distract a
driver," added Kreuzer. "That`s why it is important to be extra attentive when
driving through a work zone to help avoid an accident." 

National Work Zone Awareness Week, sponsored by the Associated General
Contractors of America, raises public awareness about the dangers for highway
construction sites, roadway work zones and motorists when road improvements are
underway. 

About Travelers
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading provider of property
casualty insurance for auto, home and business. The company's diverse business
lines offer its global customers a wide range of coverage sold primarily through
independent agents and brokers. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average,
Travelers has more than 30,000 employees and operations in the United States and
selected international markets. The company generated revenues of approximately
$26 billion in 2012. For more information, visit www.travelers.com. 

* Source: U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration,
Facts and Statistics - Work Zone Injuries and Fatalities
(http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/resources/facts_stats/injuries_fatalities.htm)
accessed 3/26/2013

The Travelers Companies, Inc.
Matt Bordonaro, 860-277-7014 

Copyright Business Wire 2013

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