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Demonstration of Proximity Warning Systems (PWS) to reduce worker exposure to asphalt trucks at highway paving operations.

Beaupre JE; Merinar TR; Fosbroke DE
NOIRS 2008-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium, October 21-23, 2008, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Morgantown, WV: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2008 Oct; :D1.4
Introduction: Between 1992 and 1998, the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) reported 841 fatalities in the highway and street construction industry (Standard Industrial Classification 1611), accounting for 11% of all construction deaths over this period. The majority of fatalities in this industry occurred in work zones with 95% of the fatal events involving vehicles and equipment. In 318 of these fatalities (38%), a worker-on-foot (WOF) was struck by a vehicle, typically while backing (51%). The primary injury source for these WOF fatalities was a truck (61%). The objective of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of proximity warning systems (PWS) in reducing WOF exposure to dump trucks at asphalt paving operations. Methods: The project involved the installation and evaluation of PWS on asphalt delivery trucks. Control and treatment data collection occurred for 6 to 8 days at each company. PWS, including sonar, radar, and camera, were installed on eight asphalt trucks at each of three companies. Data collection methods included global positioning system (GPS) receivers, video observations, and direct observations with the addition of alarm activation data on the treatment sites. Results: Based on preliminary analysis of direct observation data, the site exposure rate declined by 18.8% from the preintervention rate of 30.3 (95%CI: 35.5-25.1) exposures per hour to the post-intervention rate of 24.6 (95%CI: 29.6-19.6) exposures per hour. Discussion: Data show a reduction of WOF exposure to equipment, based on preliminary results gathered from direct observations at the site level. Though not statistically significant, these site-level results provide evidence that installation of PWS on asphalt delivery trucks can reduce worker risk to backing construction equipment. More detailed analysis of truck level video, alarm activation, and GPS data are being conducted.
Accident-prevention; Accidents; Asphalt-concretes; Construction-equipment; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Control-technology; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-methods; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards Truck-drivers; Warning-devices; Warning-systems; Work-areas; Work-practices; Surveillance
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NOIRS 2008-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium, October 21-23, 2008, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division