Wyoming Department of Transportation

New safety apparel requirement targets all workers in rights-of-way

Date: 04/14/2009 


Tuesday, April 14, 2009
New safety apparel requirement targets all workers in rights-of-way
The Wyoming Department of Transportation is issuing a reminder that a new Federal Highway Administration regulation requires all paid and volunteer workers within the right-of-way of Wyoming highways to wear high-visibility safety apparel.
The rule was effective Nov. 24, 2008.
“This action is being taken to hopefully decrease fatalities or injuries to workers who are exposed to traffic or to construction vehicles or equipment while working inside rights-of-way,” said Shelby Carlson, Wyoming Department of Transportation District 5 engineer in Basin. “Our work requires us, as much as possible, to maintain the free flow of vehicular traffic by minimizing delays, and this requires workers to place themselves on or in close proximity to the highway.
“Wearing high-visibility safety apparel allows workers to be seen by those who drive vehicles or equipment,” Carlson said. “The sooner a worker in or close to the path of travel is seen, the more time the driver or equipment operator has to avoid an incident.”
Each year, more than 100 workers are killed and more than 20,000 injured in the U.S. highway and street construction industry. “We believe this new regulation will help reduce deaths and injuries by enhancing the visibility of paid and volunteer workers within our rights-of-way,” Carlson said.
Workers, according to the Federal Highway Administration regulation, mean people on foot “whose duties place them within the right-of-way of a federal-aid highway, such as highway construction and maintenance forces, survey crews, utility crews, responders to incidents within the highway right-of-way, and law enforcement personnel when directing traffic, investigating crashes and handling lane closures, obstructed roadways, and disasters within the right-of-way of a federal-aid highway.”
The new federal rule applies to paid and volunteer workers of WYDOT, including Adopt-A-Highway volunteers who perform the much-needed service of cleaning rights-of-way of trash and debris twice each year.
“High-visibility safety apparel” means personal protective safety clothing that is highly visible "during both daytime and nighttime usage, and that meets the Performance Class 2 or 3 requirements of the ANSI/ISEA 107-2004 publication entitled “American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel and Headwear.”
MEDIA: For questions about this news release, contact Cody Beers, WYDOT District 5 public involvement specialist, at 856-1341.
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