When work is being done on high-traffic roads, it’s essential that an expert be present to properly manage and alert the oncoming vehicles. Traffic control flaggers are these necessary professionals. Trained and certified to understand hazards and communicate the proper signals to everyone near the jobsite, these individuals are primarily responsible for ensuring worker and driver well-being. As such, finding a qualified flagger is crucial to your success and overall safety on a construction project. Use these tips for finding the right flagger and the best equipment for ensuring a safe work zone.
In both the US and Canada, the purpose of certification is to provide roadwork professionals with the proper safety and traffic regulatory training for their projects. In doing so, they can be assured that all working flaggers on the roads know how to make the safest possible decisions. Through courses offered by ATSSA (American Traffic Safety Services Association) in the US and CSA (Construction Safety Associations) for each province in Canada, budding flaggers learn everything from flagging signals and procedures to problem-solving strategies in a crisis. As such, checking whether your potential candidates are certified is the first step. Just be aware that regulations can vary by state and province, and it may not be required that an individual graduate certain courses before being able to work.
However, it is important to note that, in Canada, a traffic control person course must be completed prior to becoming a flagger. The contents of each class can vary by province but are regulated by the CSA of every specific area.
Still, regardless of your state or provincial requirements, more years of experience in this line of work is a key indicator that an individual knows what they’re doing. So, when you’re working on finding the right traffic flagger, you want their résumé to speak for itself. It’s also highly encouraged that you test their skills in the field before you allow them on a jobsite. This will ensure that they are indeed knowledgeable about traffic control procedures and recognize when to give certain signals. Since ATSSA and CSA guidelines are also subject to change, this will also let you know whether their training is relevant.
Flaggers not only need to be able to signal hazards to drivers, but they also need to be able to effectively communicate with other professionals. These workers are in constant communication with one another—especially when a larger section of road is being shut down. Flaggers will be stationed at several different spots along the construction zone, and keeping traffic in line requires all of them to be aware of potential risks. Because of this, in addition to alertness, knowledge, and hazard recognition, all flaggers must be able to quickly convey instructions and risks to one another.
Once you find the perfect flagger for the job, it’s important that they have the tools to properly perform their duties. As an experienced traffic safety product supplier, we at Traffic Safety Warehouse understand that quality and secure equipment is the key to a safe and successful day at work. For this reason, we provide our customers with only the best MUTCD-approved flagging equipment and safety apparel.