Road Work Safety

15 July 2016

This time of year bring about warmer weather, longer days, and travel. Getting to and from your vacation destination is made much simpler when the roads are in good condition. Roads in cities all across the world are constantly being built and updated to improve travel. It is important for work on the road to be safe and clearly marked for all parties involved. Road work involves more than the workers on site, it also involves audiences including as pedestrians, cyclist, and public transportation. Good safety measure can be easily overlooked when working on a tight budget or schedule, but safety is and always should be first priority for everyone involved. Keep these things in mind when you are working on roads or managing a group working on roads.

Road Work Safety

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Benefits to managing health and safety on your construction projects:

  • Fewer accidents for you, your employees or other people around you.
  • Better morale and efficiency leading to higher productivity
  • Better health and safety integration with the public and other contractors
  • Better communication on site
  • Better working relationships
  • Save money

A Safe Work Zone

All work activity on roads, including both construction and non-construction work, must be properly managed at all times. Work areas must be clearly marked and protected with buffers or safety zones. Buffers can prevent vehicles from entering the work space workers and keep people from accidentally walking or moving their equipment into the traffic space. This involves using concrete barriers, cones, flaggers directing traffic, or any other method to protect your work and to allow for an appropriate work space. Regardless of the method being used, all traffic control devices must be visible, recognizable, and understandable.

Statistics

According to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse:

  • During peak construction season, approximately 20% of national highway system (NHS) is under construction with more than 3,000 work zones.
  • Approximately 12 billion vehicle miles of travel a year will be through active work zones.
  • Motorists can expect to encounter an active work zone 1 out of every 100 miles driven on the nation’s highway system.
  • More than 40,000 people are injured each year as a result of crashes in work zones.
  • One work zone fatality every 8 hours – 3 per day
  • One work zone injury every 9 minutes – 160 per day

Equipment

With the growing number of road work sites, the safety of all workers on site is vital. Using the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) can make workers more evident to motorist enhancing their awareness and making the work zone safer. Posted signs can be used to make motorist, cyclist, and pedestrians aware of the ongoing work. Warning signs used in temporary traffic control “work zones” have a black legend and border on an orange background.

Keeping Workers Informed

Construction remains one of the highest risk sectors in Europe and North America. Preventing deaths on construction sites largely depends on the manager. Accidents will only be prevented if risks are managed, work is planned out, and, employees are aware of how they are expected to do the work in a safe manner. A platform like GoContractor can help make your employees aware of these measures through online training and refresher courses. Their online platform will help cut down on the cost of training and also minimise time spent in the classroom.

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Sonya Sikra

Sonya is the Brand Strategy Manager at GoContractor. She specializes in communicating how implementing tech in construction can drive productivity and profit.

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