Construction areas require extra precaution from not only the workers on site, but also pedestrians, motorists and other passers-by who might not recognize the potential safety hazards until an accident occurs.
Every year, a multitude of injuries and many fatalities are directly attributed to construction site incidents involving heavy equipment, falling debris, trips and falls, and more. Many of these accidents could have been avoided through proper awareness and the application of all site safety procedures.
Construction sites are usually in close proximity to areas where the public operates. This is especially true at Fort Lee where many projects neighbor active work areas, troop barracks, lodging facilities and family housing.
Installation motorists and pedestrians should always exercise caution when in the vicinity of construction sites. Be aware that dangers exist within the boundaries of the site itself as well as the immediate area around the perimeter. The hazards include overhead crane operations, large and cumbersome vehicles, traffic in and out of the site, broken or removed curbs or sidewalks, large holes, muddy areas that could be slippery, contractors working near or in the street, and excessive noise and dust that could affect hearing or visibility.
Common sense can prevent injury and save lives. Always assume a construction site is active even if it is quiet or appears to be vacant. Do not bypass fencing, signage or other physical barriers that warn unauthorized individuals to stay out (by doing so, individuals may be guilty of trespassing and creating legal liabilities for the government and contractor). Parents should talk to their children to make sure they're aware of the danger and restrictions, as well. Even those passing by a construction site should slow down and watch for potential hazards.
Some of the construction areas that Fort Lee community members should be aware of include the following:
• The Ordnance Training Support Facility construction near the corner of Shop Road and 22nd Street. Work will continue through mid-April. Possible dangers include heavy equipment and digging operations, large vehicles entering and exiting the site, uneven ground and closed sidewalks.
• New 23rd Quartermaster Brigade headquarters building, barracks and dining facility between A and B avenues, near 12th and 16th streets. Work will continue through mid-December. Possible dangers include overhead crane operations, heavy equipment and digging operations, large vehicles entering and exiting areas, uneven ground and closed sidewalks. Pedestrians should watch for tripping and falling hazards and take necessary precautions to avoid being struck by a vehicle if they step out into the road.
• Fort Lee Marine Detachment Headquarters build near the intersection of Mahone and Lee avenues. Work projected to continue through mid-December. Possible dangers include heavy equipment and digging operations, large vehicles entering and exiting the site, uneven ground and closed sidewalks.
• Access control point upgrades and modifications at all gates throughout the installation. Projects will continue through mid-December. Dangers associated with lane closures and traffic congestion, as well as the movement of construction vehicles and digging operations. Caution is especially encouraged during workday commuting and lunchtime hours when traffic is heaviest. Slow down and watch for workers in the road.
In addition to the above construction sites, the Fort Lee community should be aware of limited visibility during hours of darkness along C Avenue, between the Regimental Community Center and Soldier Support Center; Sisisky Avenue, from Battle Drive to B Avenue; and along A Avenue, from Trenton Drive to 40th Street. These areas are not lit by street lights. Motorists should be cautious and pedestrians should make sure they can be seen by wearing appropriate reflective clothing and/or using a flashlight.
Safety is everyone's business. Contact the Installation Safety Office at (804) 765-3130 to report any public hazard or safety concern, no matter how minor you think it may be.