Spring and summer are the peak times of year we see work zones set up for road work construction and maintenance. These work zones can expose construction workers to high traffic areas, where they can be struck by passing drivers. According to the Federal Highway Administration, drivers account for 82% of highway and road work zone fatalities. Driving distractions, reckless driving, and other factors all increase the risk of injuring a road worker.
To protect their employees, companies, if they have not already, should incorporate the following best practices…
- Provide correct personal protective equipment (PPE) -Hard hats and high-visibility reflective clothing can help keep employees safe (and much more visible to drivers). Reflective clothing should be ANSI approved and either class II or III depending on the situation
- Use reliable communication devices between flaggers and construction crews such as two-way radios to assist in communication and directing traffic
- Lighting - Flagger stations must be illuminated, and the amount of lighting should be based on the work being done. Outdoor lights can be used to provide at least 10-20 foot-candles of light, based on work requirements and the Traffic Control Plan.
- Make time for safety - Take breaks to discuss safety procedures. Regularly re-evaluate and update policies and procedures as required or needed.
To assure the safety of road workers, drivers have a responsibility to stay alert and distraction-free. When entering a work zone drivers should…
- Follow traffic control devices - this includes signals, message boards, cones, barricades and barrels that are used to direct traffic away from work sites.
- Do not speed - always obey the posted speed limit, which can vary if a stretch of road is marked as a construction zone
- Expect delays and be patient
- Be alert and anticipate lane shifts and merging
- Avoid using phones and any other devices or activities that will cause distraction
- Allow a safe traveling distance between you and the vehicle in front of you
McClone’s Risk Management Center offers a Work Zone Traffic Control Plan along with other great resources such as safety videos for construction environments that include topics such as Personal Protective Equipment, First Aid, Heat Stress and more. Contact us today to learn more about the Risk Management Center.