Working inside the Barricades
We reached out to two of our most experienced field people for today’s stories.
Gus Hahoui has been working in road construction for over 30 years in southeast Michigan. He’s one of our most experienced construction engineers and works on some of our biggest projects.
We were working on I-94 for a crack sealing job. There were 2 lanes closed and 1 open for traffic to pass by us. Workers were inside the enclosure behind the work truck. A car got into the construction zone and ran right into them, killing one of them. Another worker jumped out of the way just in time. He survived with two broken legs. The car was going 60 mph in the construction area.
On another project there was an inspector working measuring density inside an enclosure on a highway project. He had to jump out of the way as the car got into the closure and ran over his gear right where he was standing. The woman just kept driving and got back on the highway. She could have killed him if hadn’t moved.
Both of these happened behind the work barriers we had set up for worker safety. It’s very often when I’m driving onto a job site, some people follow me into the construction enclosure. I have to use my flashers, people don’t notice and drive in with me. If people would pay more attention and not drive too close to my vehicle, they would notice I’m driving onto a site.
Gene Villalpando is a surveyor with Spalding DeDecker. Pretty much everything he does is in the field. He’s worked for years in workzones and knows what it takes to be safe.
A few weeks ago I was working on the side of the road measuring inverts (with a safety jacket on). This involved me having to lay on my stomach to peer down into catch basins and look for physical evidence and take measurements.
As I was laying down on the ground, I heard a car slam on its breaks, so I looked up! The person in the car stopped to ask if I was OK! They thought I had fallen and was injured. This happened 3 times that day and happens quite often. It’s nice to know that people care that much to stop and check on me but it made me realize they could cause an accident by stopping to check on me.