National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an event that takes place across the United States, with partnerships between state departments of transportation (DOT), national road safety organizations, government agencies, private companies and individuals.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will host the 2022 NWZAW kick-off event on April 12 with the theme, “Work zones are a sign to slow down.”  ​In 2019, 842 people were killed in 762 fatal work zone crashes, according to the most recent data available from workzonesafety.org.

What many fail to recognize is the vast majority of people killed in work zone crashes are motorists and their passengers. In 2019, 135 of the 842 fatalities were work zone workers, making it all the more important for drivers to slow down and stay focused while approaching and passing through a roadway work zone.

Everyone plays a role in work zone safety. NWZAW highlights the deadly dangers of inattention at highway work areas. Make plans now for the weeklong commemoration including:

Monday, April 11, 2022
The week will start on April 11 with Work Zone Safety Training Day, which emphasizes the importance of laying the groundwork for safety through training of personnel. Companies are encouraged to pause during the workday for safety demonstrations, discussions about safety policies and other prevention steps.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022
National Work Zone Awareness Week 2022 kickoff event will be hosted by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and held near the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion Project in Virginia. The event starts at 1:30 p.m. at the Fort Monroe Continental Gazebo, 4 Fenwick Road, Hampton, Va.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022
All roadway safety professionals across the country are encouraged to wear orange to proudly show their support of work zone safety. NWZAW and Go Orange Day are especially important to the families of victims who have lost their lives in work zones.

Thursday, April 14, 2022
Organizations, companies, institutions and individuals are asked to share messages and use hashtags #NWZAW and #WorkZoneSafety throughout social media between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET.
​Draft your own post or use one of these samples:

  • If we slow down, we can save lives. Together we can achieve zero deaths on our roads and in our work zones! #NWZAW #WorkZoneSafety
  • Work zones are a sign to slow down. #NWZAW #WorkZoneSafety
  • You can be a part of the work zone safety solution – Slow down. #NWZAW #WorkZoneSafety

Friday, April 15, 2022
The moment of silence is new for 2022 and remembers the people whose lives were lost in a work zone incident. Find other local events submitted to this website. Learn more on how you can participate and make your voice count on the importance of work zone safety.

HISTORY OF NATIONAL WORK ZONE AWARENESS WEEK

Around 24 years ago, Virginia’s Department of Transportation came up with a plan to raise work-zone safety awareness internally. They launched a public awareness campaign the very next year and, within two years, their plan had attracted the attention of the American Traffic Safety Services Association, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the Federal Highway Administration, all of whom partnered with Virginia’s Department of Transportation to establish National Work Zone Awareness Week, coordinating and sponsoring events to raise awareness about this public campaign.

Soon, they were joined by various transportation partners like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Virginia Department of Transportation, Maryland State Highway Administration, D.C. Department of Transportation, Associated General Contractors, and American Road & Transportation Builders, and more.

This increased exposure resulted in multiple national events being hosted. They also have large support from various individuals and organizations who have been impacted by work zone safety. Each year, many states host their own National Work Zone Awareness Week events.

HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL WORK ZONE AWARENESS WEEK

Educate yourself about work zone safety

Education and safety training is one of the best ways to increase awareness about work zone safety. If you are involved in construction work or know people who perform such tasks, you can organize events to retrain workers on safety protocols. If you are a motorist, it is beneficial to learn about safety tips while traveling through work zones and spread this awareness to others too.

Attend a Work Zone Awareness event

If such an event is taking place near you, take some time to attend it to learn more about following appropriate safety protocols first-hand.

Spread the word

Don’t be the only one with knowledge of how to maintain work-zone safety. Increase awareness of this week and its history among your community, family, and friends. You could end up saving lives.

For more information on Work Zone Awareness Week, please visit: https://nationaltoday.com/national-work-zone-awareness-week/