Thereís a lot of information floating around the road construction industry. From rules and standard procedures to equipment basics and personal protection guidelines, each piece of knowledge is key to performing the role and staying safe. However, with so many things to remember, itís easy for certain facts to get twisted and become potentially dangerous rumors. These are some common myths in construction work zone safety and what makes each of them false.
One of the most common beliefs that new roadworkers have is that the most dangerous jobs are those that take place on the highway. This is because they often have to deal with controlling traffic thatís naturally going at higher speeds. However, drivers and passengers are actually at a higher risk than workers in these areas. In fact, only 15 percent of highway traffic deaths involve workers, and the majority of these accidents are due to driver negligence.
Though management is responsible for providing their workers with the proper training, tools, and procedures to help keep them safe, itís also up to the workers themselves to use these tools. This makes safety something that everyone must be conscious of, not just those who it directly affects. Itís even required that both workers and management receive the same level of safety training so everyone can go into a job informed.
While the risk is greater on a road construction site than in many other locations, all traffic accidents can be avoided if the right precautions are in place. This means properly placing construction traffic cones and barriers, posting the necessary signage, and having a flagger on duty at all times to direct traffic. By taking these measures, the rate of job site accidents reduces exponentially, and workers are safer overall. Please refer to state and provincial traffic management plans to ensure you are following regulations for correct equipment and workers needed for the job site.
Another common myth in highway construction traffic safety is that workers only need to be trained when theyíre first hired. This is inherently false, however, since OSHA safety regulations are constantly evolving as we learn more about the dangers presented by the road construction profession. In actuality, workers are retrained frequently as changes are made to their safety regulations. Management is even required to hold safety meetings to maintain discussions of the topic.