The rule requires the use of American National Standards Institute/International Safety Equipment Association 107–2004, "American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel and Headwear," Class 2 or 3 high visibility safety retro-reflective apparel in order to lower the likelihood of fatalities or injuries to workers on foot in federal highway work zone.
The rule defines workers as "people on foot whose duties place them within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway, such as highway construction and maintenance forces, survey crews, utility crews, responders to incidents within the highway right-of-way, and law enforcement personnel when directing traffic, investigating crashes, and handling lane closures, obstructed roadways, and disasters within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway."
Citing Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, FHWA said there are approximately 350,000 workers involved in highway construction activities across the nation at any given time.
FHWA determined that the rule would not adversely affect any sector of the economy. "In addition, these changes will not interfere with any action taken or planned by another agency and would not materially alter the budgetary impact of any entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs," the agency said.
There is a two-year period – until Nov. 24, 2008 – to become compliant with the new rules.
The agency said the time period will allow affected entities to, if needed, replace their existing garments to comply with the new standard.
ITD requires employees to wear a Class 2 minimum outer garment when working on the highway and requires contractor compliance with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).
Rost and employees in the Division of Highways will review the rule to determine whether changes may be needed to ITD policies and procedures.