Every year road construction increases as the weather does. This allows more work to be done because of longer daylight hours. Unfortunately, this job comes with its own risks that you must be prepared for. Whether you are the worker or a civilian driving to your destination, you should be cautious in these zones.
Below we will be listing some tips for you, as a worker or civilian, to be safe while being in a road work zone.
- Have a plan
Every job needs a plan about how the flow of traffic will be set up and how to respond in the case of an accident.
- Control the Traffic Properly
This work zone should have warnings signs set up to alert those driving of the upcoming conditions. Cones, barrels, and barriers should be used to control the traffic by creating boundaries. Whatever you use, they should adhere to the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), and any other state requirements.
- Wear Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
You should wear proper equipment that will keep you safe and allow you to be easily seen by those driving through the zone. This can include hard hats, gloves, reflective jackets/vests, or hearing protection. These depend on the weather or if you are near loud machinery.
- Have a Competent Person Around
Whenever work is being done, a competent person should be onsite. A competent person, according to OSHA, is someone who is “capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in your surroundings, or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has the authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate
- them.” Having a competent person around can help select proper PPE and safety measures according to the risks that are present on your worksite.
- Use Common Sense
Basically, do not do something that would put you at risk. Do not goof off while on the work site, make sure you are protecting yourself from the weather through clothing and hydration, and being aware of all that is going on. By using your common sense, you can keep yourself out of hazardous situations.
- Be Aware
By being aware of your surroundings, you can keep yourself, your family, and everyone around you safe. This includes paying attention to the signs and limiting distractions such as loud music, cell phone usage, eating, digging through a purse, or turning around to handle any rambunctious passengers.
- Be Patient
In today’s world, we tend to be in a constant rush. This can be from trying to get home quickly from work, a doctor’s appointment, or running basic errands. The danger to this is that you are putting yourself and others into a situation that can cause injury or death if you let impatience get the best of you. Slow down, stay calm, and if needed, leave early to allow yourself plenty of time to get to your destination with the chance of potential delays.
- Obey Posted Signs
This is one that seems to be an obvious one but does get ignored. If the posted speed limit for the construction zone is 25 mph, then go that speed. Do not go faster. This also applies to signs telling you when you merge and other warnings. By ignoring these signs, you are not only putting yourself at risk, you are endangering fellow drivers and the construction workers who are simply doing their jobs.
- Implement Defensive Driving
The most common crash in road work zones is rear-end collisions. This is due to drivers following each other too closely and not giving enough space to stop if someone must suddenly slow down. Keep a safe distance between you, the car ahead of you, and the construction workers and equipment around you.
- Comply with The Flagger
Stay alert. This may be obvious, but by staying alert and paying attention to the flagger and the directions that they give, you are preventing accidents. Also, a flagger is practically a moving road sign. Follow their instruction if they tell you to stop or proceed.
By being aware of the situation you are in, whether through your job or simply out for a drive, you can keep yourself safe and allow others to return home to their loved ones as well. Drive cautiously, follow signs, and stay safe!
For More Information On Flagger Safety visit our training overview page!