There are a lot of things to keep track of on a road construction site. As such, there are a series of different things that can go wrong, and a plethora of potential accidents that can occur. Fortunately, itís possible to mitigate many of these risks just by simply adopting beneficial safety practices in the workplace. So, just like itís important that we teach passing drivers how to be safe in and around road construction zones, workers must also be taught how to do the same. These are some key road work zone safety recommendations to keep in mind during your next job.
Like a driver shouldnít go for a trip without their route planned out, a road worker should never step foot on a job site without drawing up a safety plan. Often referred to as transportation management plans, these strategies map out the fundamental traffic control procedures youíll use on that particular job based on the unique conditions in that setting. So, whether it be a high or low traffic road at night or during the day, your plan should describe how to handle these situations as you come across them. Itís for this reason as well that teams often create a few different plans for separate areas of the work zone. You may have one plan for properly directing traffic and another for managing the movement of machinery.
Though road workers are required to be trained in traffic control and overall traffic safety before working on a site, it never hurts to practice these techniques. Frequent repetition is what allows us to engrave certain actions into our routine and turn it into a habit. Through this process, you eventually begin to demonstrate the best judgment automatically, and your safety increases as a result. But, in order to practice these proper procedures, you should first know what some of them are.
A few common traffic control techniques that every worker should know how to use include:
Itís also important that you know which pieces of traffic control equipment would work best in the current situation, as well as which ones should be saved for another time. There are various different items you could choose to use on your job site, and each is specifically designed to deal with very specific roadside conditions. Itís up to you to determine how much reflectivity your signs will need, and whether your barricades will need traffic barricade flashing lights in order to be seen in the dark. Fortunately, you donít have to go through this process alone. In fact, youíll have an entire team working with you to identify the working conditions youíll be dealing with, and therefore, the items that will be the most effective.
Another helpful road work zone safety recommendation to keep in mind is the act of sectioning off certain areas of a work zone in order to perform more specific tasks. As was previously mentioned, dividing certain work zone areas is a great way to establish more specific traffic management plans depending on the location. In areas that are using more heavy machinery, this technique allows you to more efficiently slow down traffic to accommodate it. It also gives you a clearer indication of when traffic can be directed to speed back up. Make sure that you use the proper cones, signs, and barriers to indicate all these changes to ensure oncoming drivers know how to react.
While itís obvious to anyone whoís ever worked in construction that wearing personal protection equipment is a must, itís something that should always be reiterated. These items are essential for protecting your vitals from potential physical hazards, as well as for ensuring that youíre seen by everyone nearby. This decreases your overall risk of being injured on the job. For road workers, the list of proper PPE includes hard hats, work boots, brightly-colored clothing, safety glasses, and a reflective safety vest. Keep in mind that you may also need to wear hearing protection in louder sections of the workplace to reduce the strain on your senses.
Whether it be the oncoming traffic or one of your coworkers driving a piece of heavy machinery, they all have potential blind spots when operating their vehicles. As such, itís important that you know where they are so you can keep as far away from them as possible. For standard cars and larger vans driving through the work zone, their blind spots are typically along the passenger windows or closer to the trunk on either side. Mirrors help with this, but if that driver is inattentive, youíll need to be quick to act in order to defend yourself. On the other hand, the blind spots for machine operators depend on the type of equipment theyíre using and which direction theyíre facing.
A competent person is defined as someone who is capable of identifying current hazards and predicting ones that could develop in the future. To do this, they must have extensive knowledge of the worksite, its processes, and the overarching conditions that may affect worker safety. These individuals will often assess a site before the work is set to begin, and assist in forming traffic management plans that will maximize safety as a whole. They will also be responsible for ensuring the appropriate PPE is worn by all workers and that safety guidelines are being followed.
At Traffic Safety Warehouse, we want to provide you with the necessary resources to heighten your sense of security and overall safety on a job site. Whether it be in the form of signage, lights, and traffic cones or up-to-date information, your well-being is our top priority. For this reason, all of the products we sell are guaranteed to be durable and effective at accomplishing their designated purpose. If you have any additional questions about our inventory or want to learn more about how you can keep yourself safe on the job, weíre waiting to take your call.