Meet Juan M. Morales, P.E.
Juan M. Morales of JM Morales & Associates is ATSSA’s Chief Instructor and he will play a primary role in the development of course materials for the upcoming Work Zone Safety Grant courses. In addition, he will be developing outreach programs and program evaluation tools, while providing oversight and training for the instructors.
Juan’s expertise comes from his tenure with Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) where he worked as a highway safety researcher for several years. Upon leaving FHWA, Juan worked for the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) where he was responsible for ITE’s Educational Foundation and was ITE’s liaison to the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. This is where his love for education and training comes from. After becoming a consultant in 1995, Juan was asked by ATSSA in 1997 to help with their training programs. After teaching for ATSSA for several years, and helping redesigning (and developing new) training courses, Juan was named Chief Instructor in 2006.
Juan has a Masters of Science in Transportation Engineering and Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering. He is fluent in English and Spanish and leads ATSSA training courses regularly in both languages.
For more information, visit www.jmmassoc.com or contact JM Morales & Associates at (703) 471-7031.
A Candid Interview with Dr. Morris Oliver
FHWA Agreement Officer’s Technical Representative
1. What is a good description of your role in overseeing the administration of the work zone safety grants?
I have to answer this question in two parts. Technically, I am the Agreement Officer’s Technical Representative (AOTR) for this grant. This means that I am designated by the Federal Highway Administration’s contracts office to assist in the technical aspects of this grant. Though my involvement with this particular grant came after it was awarded, the duties of the AOTR include developing a Request for Proposal (RFP), convening a selection panel, managing the kickoff meeting, ensuring the quality and timeliness of deliverables, and initiating action if there are any issues along the way. The second hat I wear is that of making sure that the grant deliverables are consistent and do not duplicate each other. As you can imagine, managing a $20 million -4 year program involving 4 entities (ATSSA, Laborers Health and Safety Fund of North America/ ARTBA, Wayne State University, Illinois Institute of Technology) is very labor intensive and has the potential for many issues to be resolved.
2. Overall, what do you foresee this Work Zone Safety grant accomplishing for the States?
It is very sad that over 1000 motorists and workers are killed in work zones each year. The solution is an integrated approach that educates motorists, trains workers on proper procedures, and educates them on how to stay safer while working. As the grants are part of this integrated approach, I foresee that the results of the grants will inevitably lower the numbers. Through these grants, guidelines will be developed to enhance standard practices and; tens of thousands of individuals at all levels of the work zone safety spectrum will be trained. Support of national work zone safety awareness week (the first week of April each year), national conferences, and a weblink to information on work zones and the grants will all be part of this approach. I believe that with all of these activities coming together with a common purpose through the grants, that we should see lower fatality and injury numbers in work zones.
A. How will all partners in this WZS grant collectively work towards these accomplishments?
Each grantee is aware that they have a different role to play in the grants even though they may or may not have a different perspective. In other words each shares the understanding that this is not a competition, but rather a collaborative and coordinated effort to help save lives. The Illinois Institute of Technology is developing work zone safety audit guidelines and training. The Wayne State University is developing utility work zone guidelines and training. ATSSA is teaching existing work zone courses, and developing and teaching on 5 work zone guidelines. Laborers’/ ARTBA is teaching existing courses, and developing and teaching work zone guidelines. While ATSSA and Laborers’/ARTBA’s efforts may seem duplicative, they are not. ATSSA’s primary focus is on proper technical procedures while Laborer’s/ARTBA’s primary focus is on the workers’ health and safety while carrying out the proper technical procedures.
B. How will success be measured from FHWA’s standpoint?
The number of guidelines developed and implemented, the number of training courses taught, the number of persons taking the courses are all measures of success. However, the most important measure of success is how many lives are saved as a result of the grants’ efforts.
3. What do you want to see taking place in the States once this grant has expired?
A. Are there any specific goals in mind for continuing similar programs?
The ultimate decision on continuing these or similar programs will come from Congress. One key element, as an emphasis stressed in SAFETEA-LU, is data. Are the grants making an impact as supported by data that show a decrease in the WZ fatality and injury numbers during the grant period? Other items to be measured include: How are the training courses and guidelines perceived by the transportation community? Are the guidelines being implemented? How many web hits are
there that access information developed by the grants?
B. How would you sum up the progress being made on this particular project at this time?
The progress to date has been very good and I think we are on track to having a very successful program. On January 30th, we have had a coordination meeting among the 4 grantees and also the National Work Zone Information Clearinghouse at the ATSSA Annual Convention. Each recipient gave project updates presentations and we sought out partnering opportunities between the recipients to avoid duplications of guideline developments and various course modules. In addition to the monthly telecon progress reports that I have with each recipient, we will have group telecon on June 19 and a face to face meeting on October 12th. Laborers’/ARTBA has already taught over 1500 persons mostly on the OSHA courses; ATSSA has initiated work on 5 guidelines to be developed and will begin teaching 8 courses in the Fall; Wayne State has developed a State of the Art/State of the Practice report on utility work zones and; Illinois Institute of Technology has developed a case study on the Dan Ryan Reconstruction effort as well as a literature review. Progress on all of the grantees is kept up to date through another grant that I manage, the National Work Zone Information Clearinghouse www.workzonesafety.org (training section).
The objective of the Work Zone Safety Grant Program is to develop guidelines and provide training to improve highway work zone safety.
STATEMENT OF WORK
ATSSA shall perform tasks within the following work areas: Highway Work Zone Worker Safety Training; Highway Work Zone Safety Guidelines Development; and Highway Work Zone Safety Guidelines Training.
ATSSA is developing eight courses, which will meet the guidelines of the National Highway Institute (NHI):
- What Everyone Should Know About TTC Training (WESK)
- Traffic Control Technician (TCT)
- Traffic Control Supervisor (TCS)
- Flagger Instructor Training (FIT)
- Emergency Traffic Control (ETC)
- Law Enforcement Course (LEC)
- Nighttime Traffic Control (NTC)
- Utility Traffic Control (Utility)
The first draft for all eight courses have been completed and are currently under FHWA review. The WESK course has been approved and it’s been finalized. The TCT PowerPoint has been approved. We are currently developing the Instructor’s Guide (IG) and Student Reference Guide (SRG) for all courses. The last part of the development will be to complete all exams and workshops. Executive versions (sample slides) of all eight courses have been developed and are available by calling (877) 642-4637.
The ATSSA Area 2 team updated our Gap and Needs Analysis Report and the Synthesis Report of Existing Policies, Regulations, and Guidelines, based on the final Area 2 topics:
- Pedestrians and Work Zones
- Positive Protection
- Maintenance Work Zone Safety
- Selecting/Decommissioning High Visibility Garments
- Work Zone Planning / ImpactAssessment / Mitigation
We are currently working on defining the actual guideline products that we will produce under Area 2. To accomplish this, we compiled and analyzed the information and feedback from the previous activities in matrix format and identified candidate needed products for each topic. On May 17, 2007, we reassembled our practitioner group (virtually) to obtain feedback on the candidate products, and made adjustments in response to the feedback. The candidate product matrices are currently with FHWA for review.
As soon as we have FHWA approval on the products to be produced, we will start work on developing the approved products.
for current course schedules,
locations and more!
Call the ATSSA Training Department
to enroll in a course at