WVDOT talks work zone safety and honoring one of their own

They are out there day and night, just trying to do their job around urban areas where they can’t put up work zones and create traffic problems.

The West Virginia Department of Transportation tells their roadside workers to be aware of their surroundings and not turn their back to traffic.

Chief Engineer of Special Programs Jacob Bumgarner says even with all their visible cones and signs, they still have incidents that put their workers in danger.

In July 2016 a Parkersburg area DOH Chief, Randy Bland was killed on the job. His district three buddies, including Bumgarner, wanted to memorialize Bland.

At the time there wasn’t a statewide memorial for West Virginia DOH workers. So they found a local sculptor who created one at the Williamstown Welcome Center. He says they never want to put another name on that memorial.

“Everybody should return home from work every night; that is our goal, that’s what we’re all about. Unfortunately, this year already we’ve had two very close calls,” said Bumgarner.

According to the Chief Engineer of Special Programs, one incident resulted in a person being in the ICU for some time, while another got clipped by a mirror as somebody drove by.

“We can’t have that,” Bumgarner said. “That’s unacceptable for our workers to be out there trying to do their job, responding to incidents — patching potholes, digging ditches — all that work that needs to be done and the public wants to be done; they need to be able to do it safely.”



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