Work zone safety awareness

Posted on Mar 26 2019 in Steuben County REMC

We all hear the public service announcements warning drivers to be aware of road construction, and the possible consequences of not being mindful of these sometimes hazardous work zones. But how many of us are actually listening to these warnings? Do you slow down when you see that flashing orange “Men at Work” sign? 

This year, National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 8-12. Steuben County REMC reminds drivers to be mindful of lineworkers on the job. 

Utility trucks are equipped with flashing lights and reflective materials. Work zones are marked on the road with orange cones and signage. And line crews wear reflective clothing when working near roadways. But even with these measures in place, our county is quite hilly, and weather conditions, blind hills and winding roads make work zones dangerous.

“Our crews often work during harsh weather, which makes the job even more dangerous for our line crews,” said Bill Stackhouse, director of operations at Steuben County REMC. “Equipment that would be clearly visible in daylight is difficult for motorists to see when there is rain, snow, sleet or hail. But keeping the power on means we work during those conditions, too.”

When driving through a work zone or past a line crew, remember workers are doing their job and what they’re doing is simply to help you, the member. Indiana’s “Move Over” laws apply to lineworkers, as well as other emergency vehicles pulled off to the side of the roads. We can help keep workers, other drivers, passengers and ourselves safe by following these tips: 

• Pay attention to warning signs and flaggers.

• Be alert when you approach and enter a work zone.

• Don’t speed or tailgate in and around work zones.

• Avoid distractions such as talking or texting on the phone, changing your radio station, eating, or drinking when approaching or in work zones.

• Keep your attention on the road, not on what the workers are doing.

• Turn your headlights on to make your vehicle more visible to workers and other drivers.

• Watch for brake lights or slow moving vehicles.

Those at your electric cooperative understand work zones can be frustrating, especially when you’re in a hurry. But road crews and lineworkers work diligently to reduce the effect of roadside activities during your commute. They need your full attention to get the job done quickly and safely.

“On behalf of Steuben County REMC’s workers, please slow down and take your time while passing through work zones,” Stackhouse said. “It’s important to your safety and also those who are hard at work to help you and your neighbors.”