Many highway construction projects are well underway across the country. As a contractor, are you taking the proper steps to ensure field workers are safe at the jobsite? If your organization hasn’t done so in the past couple of years, it might be time to put new policies, practices, or technology in place for safety at the jobsite, especially considering motor vehicle crashes on highway projects are greater today than they have been in the past.

A recent survey of contractors conducted by the AGC (Associated General Contractors of America), www.agc.org, Arlington, Va., shows 68% of highway contractors experienced motor vehicle crashes in their construction work zones throughout the past year, with 28% reporting workers were injured and another 18% indicating there was at least one fatality.

Safety at highway construction projects has always been a top concern for companies, but with a greater number of distracted drivers on the road today, it seems the number of accidents at jobsites is growing. And contractors agree: 84% believe motor vehicle crashes are greater today than they were a decade ago.

Work zone crashes can also have a big impact on schedule and costs. Approximately 35% of contractors say they had to temporarily shut down construction, with 47% of those reporting shutdowns lasted two or more days.

So what can the industry do to ensure the jobsite is safe and secure? Some respondents point to greater police presence at construction sites, stricter enforcement of existing laws, tougher fines and penalties, and more frequent safety training for workers, as a few solutions.

Technology could also lend a hand in creating a safer jobsite. For starters, a number of technology providers offer solutions, geared both to consumers and business, to help prevent distracted driving.

One recent example comes from Teletrac, www.teletrac.net, Garden Grove, Calif. With Fleet Director 9, operations managers in trucking, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), energy and mining, construction, transportation, and specialty services can improve safety on the road.

In the new release, driver dashboards can replay unsafe driving events and monitor safety-related activity. For construction companies operating a fleet of vehicles, this type of technology can help enforce safe-driving policies.

For construction companies working on highway projects, one of the most important factors is to make sure safety policies for the jobsite are updated and enforced on an ongoing basis. This can help companies stay on budget and schedule, while also saving a life.