Magazine article Occupational Hazards


Magazine article Occupational Hazards


Article excerpt

Highway Work Zones

In the sidebar "Partnership Pays Off in New Jersey" ("Conquering the Dangers of Highway Work Zones," May 2002), Todd Nighswonger touts a 5-year-old state safety collaboration that reduced work zone fatalities to zero in 2001. It is important to state the names of the "two labor unions" that were more than incidental to the partnership -- Heavy and Highway Locals 472 and 172 of the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA).

In 1997, the Laborers' Health and Safety Fund of North America -- a joint labor-management fund created to improve health and safety and reduce workers' compensation costs -- researched safety problems in work zones and recommended specific interventions. To test the proposed interventions, the Fund enlisted Locals 472 and 172 and the New Jersey Occupational Safety and Health Administration to train New Jersey state police to identify highway work zone hazards. By the end of 1998, more than 300 troopers were trained and more than 4,000 hazards corrected.

Ultimately, it is LIUNA's members and the contractors who hire union workers who actually implemented the work zone changes that reduced New Jersey fatalities last year to zero.

Joseph C. Fowler Jr.

Executive Director

Laborers' Health & Safety Fund of North America

Washington, D. …

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