Top Road Construction Work Zone Safety Tips
The safety of road construction zones is an important issue, not just for construction works, but also for the motorists. Statistics show that a large number of deaths occur due to road construction work and the fatalities don’t just include the workers, but also people driving in different vehicles. Obviously, no one wants this to happen and the best way to prevent it is by following some of the top road construction work zone safety tips that are highlighted below:
- Come up with a plan
A transportation management plan should be part of every road construction project. This should consist of details regarding a temporary plan for controlling traffic and protecting the safety of workers by conducting the traffic safely through or around the work zone. It is also essential to have a traffic control plan within the work zone, which manages the flow of construction vehicles, heavy equipment and workers.
- Control traffic properly
There should be advanced warning area in the construction work zone that boasts warning signs to alert motorists of any changes to be expected in driving conditions, a buffer area, a transition area that uses traffic control devices for shifts in traffic patterns and lane closures, the main work area and finally the termination area for allowing the traffic to go back to normal. There should be a sign that indicates that the work zone has ended. Whether it is barriers, cones, barrels or cones, all traffic control devices should comply with proper construction standards and requirements.
- Make separate work areas
In most cases, road construction work zones are very busy areas where multiple activities are being conducted simultaneously. In order to avoid and prevent accidents, it is recommended that you use barriers, signs, cones and barrels for clearly delineating specific areas of the construction work zone like material storage, vehicle parking, and areas where heavy equipment is used and safe areas for workers to move about on foot.
- Use proper safety equipment
Any and all personnel within the work zone should wear proper safety equipment. Personal protection equipment (PPE) comprises of steel-toed boots, hard hats, highly visible clothing and hearing protection, depending on the level of noise.
- Avoid blind spots
Heavy equipment and vehicles are constantly moving in the road construction work zone, which includes compactors, dump trucks, excavators, rollers, pavement planners and pavers. All operators need to ensure that visual aid devices like mirrors are properly attached and working and this also includes lights and backup alarms.
- Have a Site specific safety program
Every road construction project is unique, which means that every work zone will have its own challenges and hazards. Therefore, you need to create a job specific safety program as this can go a long way in preventing any mishaps and accidents. Having a safety program means that you should identify all the hazards that are inherent and come up with a plan to mitigate and eliminate them in the best possible way, like routinely inspecting all equipment and vehicles to prevent any accidents.