Town of Bow Receives SWAT Award

By Ronald O’Keefe

New Hampshire Local Government Center’s (LGC) Safety Working Around Traffic (SWAT) Team recently awarded its first-ever SWAT award to the Town of Bow. As I roamed Granite State roads on the lookout to find LGC Member Group employees who were safely working around traffic, I found a Town of Bow road crew conducting tree-limbing operations and initiated a site assessment in cooperation with Bow Public Works Director Chum Cleverly.

Model Work Zone
Work zones—whether they are established for road construction, paving operations, motor vehicle crashes or structure fires—create distractions and delays for motorists. This is why road crew workers and their vehicles are being struck at alarming rates.

In conducting our site assessment, the Bow work zone was evaluated based on specific safety and risk management criteria. Model work zone activity includes—but is not limited to—the following:

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  • All personnel in the work zone are wearing reflective articles (for example, vests, clothing and firefighting gear that has reflective striping) and are readily seen.
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  • Signage is properly arranged (in accordance with the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, Part 6).
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  • Flagpersons, when used, are appropriately positioned and trained in proper flagging techniques. ? Vehicle placement and other barriers present provide a safe separation from those working in the road.
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  • Separation of passing traffic from the work zone is clearly marked to eliminate any possible confusion for passing drivers and work zone personnel.
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  • Work zone vehicles and emergency lights being operated are properly controlled to eliminate any blinding or concealed conditions.

The Bow work zone met every safety requirement and can serve as a model for others.

Getting Capped
Once we verified that the Bow work zone met SWAT criteria, all workers involved along with representatives of their department were each awarded a specially embroidered SWAT cap from LGC in recognition of their achievements. Later, I joined my colleague, LGC Risk Management Representative Bill Cote, in issuing a SWAT commendation to each recognized Bow public works employee along with Chum, their department head. Bill and I also treated the Bow work zone team to ice cream after a hot day’s work. The Bow community should be proud that their town’s public works team takes safety seriously. When learning of the team’s recent SWAT Award, Bow Town Manager Jim Pitts told me he was not surprised that Bow earned LGC’s first SWAT Award ever since its public works employees are so dedicated and department leadership ranks high.

So let’s give a big round of applause to Chum Cleverly and the following members of his Public Works Department staff in Bow for their SWAT Award accomplishments: Mark Acebron, Don Dunlap, Mike Hague, Brian Piroso, Tim Sweeney, Will Thibeault, Joe Toupin, Lenoard Vergine and Corey Welcome. Well done, gentlemen!

Ronald O’Keefe is a Risk Management Representative with New Hampshire Local Government Center’s Risk and Health Management Department.