As the weather warms up, Illinois American Water joins federal, state and local transportation officials in drawing attention to the safety needs of people working and traveling in and near Illinois roadways. This week, March 23 through 27, marks National Work Zone Awareness Week, an annual spring campaign held at the start of construction season to encourage safe driving through highway work zones.
Water serves customers in 128 Illinois communities. Our employees work 24
hours a day,
7 days a week to ensure reliable, quality water service. Illinois
American Water employees maintain approximately 29,000 fire hydrants, plus
thousands of miles of water main including critical valves and meters – much of
this infrastructure is located in or right next to streets and highways.
Illinois American Water crews also fix and repair water main breaks which often
put them in situations where road lane closures are necessary.
All of these tasks
have the potential to put our employees in or near the roadways, and working
safely is always at the forefront of our minds. When motorists see an Illinois
American Water employee performing flagging duties they can rest assured
knowing that s/he has been trained and certified according to Illinois
Department of Transportation guidelines, and are focusing on protecting the
public as well as the job site.
“As the pace picks up
during construction season, we want to remind drivers that their safety, and
the safety of our crews, depends on drivers’ focus and attention,” said Vice
President of Operations Barry Suits.
Water recommends the following work zone awareness week tips.
· Stay alert – dedicate your full attention to the roadway and don’t use
your cell phone.
· Follow signs – they’ll guide you through work zones safely
· Pay attention – watch for flaggers, workers and equipment
· Be patient – remember we are improving your water system
· Buckle up – every trip and every time – safety belts save lives
· Never drink and drive – no impairment is acceptable
· Be nice – merge as directed, don’t tailgate or speed and don’t change
lanes in a work zone
According to the
State of Illinois, on average, there are over 5,900 work zone motor vehicle
crashes a year in Illinois resulting in 1,850 injuries and 27 fatalities with
an average of 3 worker fatalities (IDOT, 2014). Illinois American Water
believes that one death is too many and all of these accidents are preventable.
Please take the Work Zone Safety Pledge at www.embracetheorange.com.