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March 3-7, 2026

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How Construction Contractors Can Participate in National Work Zone Awareness Week



National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an annual campaign held at the start of the road construction season to encourage safe driving through highway work zones. The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is hosting the 2024 NWZAW kickoff event on April 16 with the theme, "Work Zones are temporary. Actions behind the wheel can last forever.”

NWZAW is designed to bring attention to the safety measures necessary in construction areas, particularly those that are close to active traffic. The initiative aims to reduce the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities associated with construction work zones through education, awareness and stringent safety protocols. For construction contractors, this is a time to reflect on best practices and an opportunity to lead by example in the industry.


April 15, 2024
NWZAW promotes a safety-first culture that is critical in construction work zones. Work Zone Safety Training Day encourages employers and workers to pause during the workday for safety demonstrations, training in hazard recognition and talks about protective methods. This is a time for contractors to share a company’s safety policies, goals and expectations with all workers.

Resources to conduct a Work Zone Safety Training Day are available from ATSSA and the Center for Construction Research and Training.


April 16, 2024  
Get ready for 2024 NWZAW kickoff event with the NWZAW Event Planning Guide and the NWZAW Event Promotion Guide. Learn how to share your story, how to conduct safety training and how to best participate in all the events of the week.


April 17, 2024
All roadway safety professionals across the country are encouraged to wear orange for Go Orange Day to proudly show their support of work zone safety. NWZAW and Go Orange Day are especially important to the families of victims who have lost their lives in work zones.

Show your support on social media by posting orange pics and using the hashtags #NWZAW and #Orange4Safety.


April 18, 2024 
Organizations, companies, institutions and individuals are asked to share messages and use hashtags #NWZAW and #WorkZoneSafety on all social media platforms between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET. ​This “storm” is meant to draw attention to the safety of all construction workers and how drivers can save a life.

The primary reason for the emphasis on work zone awareness is the protection of human life.



April 19, 2024 
The primary reason for the emphasis on work zone awareness is the protection of human life. Companies and families are encouraged to join for a moment of silence as a tribute to the people who lost their lives in a work zone incident.​ Construction zones can be dangerous, and accidents can result in serious injuries or fatalities. By adopting and promoting safe work practices, contractors can significantly reduce the risk of accidents. In 2021, there were 42,000 work zone injuries, with 164 pedestrian fatalities in work zones.


Comprehensive Training: Contractors should provide regular, comprehensive safety training to all employees, emphasizing the importance of following safety protocols in work zones. This training should cover the correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE), the proper installation and maintenance of barriers, and the importance of maintaining a clean and organized work area.

Effective Communication: Establishing clear lines of communication among team members is essential for safety. This includes daily briefings on the day’s tasks and any potential hazards, as well as clear signage for both workers and the public.

Implementing Technology: The use of technology, such as drones for site surveying and wearable safety devices that can monitor worker health and alertness, can enhance safety in work zones. Investing in technology that improves safety is a wise decision for any contractor.

Regular Safety Audits: Conducting regular safety audits allows contractors to identify potential hazards and address them before they lead to accidents. These audits should be thorough and involve every level of the workforce.

Public Awareness Campaigns: Contractors can play a role in educating the public about the importance of work zone safety. This can include engaging with local communities, schools and the media to spread awareness about how to safely navigate work zones and the critical role the public plays in maintaining safety. The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) created its Watch For Us campaign to educate the public on the dangers of distracted driving.


National Work Zone Awareness Week is a crucial time for construction contractors to reaffirm their commitment to safety. It provides an opportunity to review and improve safety protocols, engage with workers and the community on safety matters, and lead by example in the construction industry. Let this week serve as a reminder of the importance of maintaining vigilance and commitment to safety in every work zone, every day of the year.

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