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Thursday , 20 June 2024

“Construction Work Zone safety is a responsibility of all”

Avery Dennison launches Construction Work Zone Signage

April 25, 2011 saw the launch of Avery Dennison’s Construction Work Zone Signages in New Delhi. It was well attended by persons not only from the Traffic Sign Industry, but also by professionals from the road marking and road safety devices industries, contractors and Avery Dennison’s channel partners. The objective of the launch was to create awareness about work zone safety in India. Considering the infrastructure growth in the country, this awareness is not highly visible right now in India. A Work Zone is a designated area on a street or highway where work takes place, either moving or stationary. The objective of the safe work zone is to ensure a designated work zone along with the dedicated safe corridor for smooth traffic flow.

Currently there is a big disconnect between the construction of world class highways / expressways in India and the work zone conditions – which are not being paid attention to. There are several examples throughout the country where work sites are neither barricaded nor organised properly and are used as a stack yard for equipment with no night time visibility. The non removal of stone blocks even after construction work is another issue. All these make the roads unclear and unpredictable, and lead to traffic jams, delays and even life threatening accidents.

The launch addressed the need to create awareness about this in India and focussed on the difference between an Indian Work zone vs. World Class International Work Zones. In the international scenario, motorists are provided with a dedicated corridor for efficient traffic flow, and construction workers are provided with a designated safe area for their work. Trade partners showed their support to this issue by active participation.

After a welcome note by Amandeep Singh, National Sales Manager, the floor was turned over to Kelly Winegarden, Worldwide Head for Traffic & Safety who shared her knowledge and experiences with the audience regarding CWZ safety worldwide.

Talking to TrafficInfraTech, Winegarden said, “Our mission and purpose is that drivers get to their destination safely. Setting up a safe driving experience is hard enough with average traffic, but work zones are particularly dangerous when people do not anticipate changes in what is ahead. So with consistent signage and protocols, people will be fluent in what it takes to drive safely in any circumstance.” There was a sense of urgency in her mission. “It’s time, now that India’s infrastructure is getting better and better, to put the next level of safety improvements into place, which are already standard in other parts of the world. We should ensure that nobody has to die unnecessarily.” She was very optimistic about India. “People are open to change, they are open to new business ventures and they are open to creative solutions. I’ve always felt a sense of ambition and interest in change and prioritising safety here. I think it is really just a matter of education because I see when people understand something and they see the possibilities, they can make it happen,” she added.

The group learnt more about Work Zone Safety and its importance in India from the presentation made by Ashish Shukla, Business Development Manager. He threw light on some of the best practices used worldwide wherein the people on the roads were made aware of work zones ahead, had ample time to slow down and pay attention to the construction work and were given opportunities to drive through with lane discipline and patience. This resulted in minor work zone related delays and minimal disruption. Shukla stressed upon the fact that for a safe work zone, it is always necessary to define the ownership of all the stakeholders such as consultants, road authorities, suppliers or vendors, contractors, road users and traffic police; and educate them. Some modes of education and implementation could include the use of fluorescent orange as a work zone colour due to its better day and night time visibility. Regional work zone conferences, public information campaigns, ‘Work Zone Safety Week’ programmes, state-wide work zone inspection programmes and safety audits by independent agencies are other ways the importance of work zone safety issues could be promoted. Dedicated police teams too could be assigned to work zones, he added.

The guest speaker, Dr Surender Mohan, scientist from Traffic Engineering and Safety Division at Central Road Research Institute, New Delhi, gave a presentation on the Construction Work Zone safety and answered many questions from the audience.

Dhiraj Kapur, Segment Head, Asia Pacific & John Peck, Global Product Manager (Conspicuity Tapes) at Avery Dennison, thereafter, talked in detail on the use of Conspicuity Tapes on heavy vehicles and work zone vehicle marking. Worldwide references and applications were presented before the audience, and their various queries were answered.

To get the audience to really understand what was being discussed, a Demo Station was created where live demonstrations of the various Construction Work Zone signages and devices were conducted. In addition, there was a discussion on various traffic control devices, information & warning equipment, closure & guiding equipment and temporary work zone lighting.

Avery Dennison’s Channel Partners were recognised and appreciated for their outstanding efforts in 2010 where they excelled to deliver the best.

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