When working on a road construction site, it is easy to get so lost in the work that your safety and the safety of those around you can fall out of focus. However, the truth is road construction is dangerous work. In 2015, there were 700 motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States, which is the equivalent of about 1.9 work zone crashes per day across the country. These crashes not only are a danger to the workers, but also the drivers navigating through the work zones. Luckily, there are ways to decrease the occurrences of these incidents. Find out more in our latest guest blog.
Understand Your Area
The first way that work crews can try to avoid these tragic accidents in their work zones is by understanding the area in which they are working. Every job site is different. Those who are setting it up need to plan accordingly for their job site so they do not to interrupt the flow of traffic. This includes understanding the proper amount of buffer space that is needed for the speed of the vehicles on that particular road and the proper cone taper that will keep vehicles safely out of harm’s way.
Not only do these factors change based upon the road speed and work being done, but it also can vary by state. Each state has its own set of work zone standards that dictates how each type of road construction site is to be setup. By understanding the differences in work zone setups for their state, road construction crews are able to better protect themselves and the drivers passing through the job site.
Another way to help prevent work zone accidents and keep yourself and other safe is to make sure you are easily seen my motorists and workers who may be operating heavy equipment. The best way to do this is to ensure that your personal protective equipment (PPE) and the traffic control devices that you are using are clean and up to code. This includes your reflective clothing, hard hats, and other equipment that are worn while on the job site. If these become dirty or tarnished, it can diminish the traveling public’s ability to see you, increasing the likelihood of an accident. Additionally, traffic control devices, such as traffic cones or stop signs, should also not be worn or dull so that you are able to effectively communicate with oncoming traffic.
(related: Safety & Protection items from A.H.Harris)
Maintaining clean PPE and traffic control devices are not always enough. You must always ensure that those who are directing the traffic through the work zone are standing in the right spot. This includes maintaining their visibility to oncoming traffic, having an escape route in the event of an errant vehicle coming into the job site, and standing off to the side so that you are not blocking traffic. By combining both clean equipment and proper location, you are able to keep yourself, the work crew, and drivers much safer.
Road construction job sites can be a very dangerous place for both workers and the drivers passing through. However, proper knowledge of the area and attention to detail can help crews avoid accidents and injuries on the job.
We would like to thank Jordan for this valuable contribution to our blog! If you are also interested in construction industry related guest blogging with us, please get in touch. Thanks!
As always, feedback and comments are welcome. What do you do to ensure you and your crew stays safe on job sites?