Work Zone Safety 2

Traffic hazards are a daily exposure in the construction industry. Dump truck drivers, equipment operators and laborers are exposed to traffic hazards. Any time an employee is exposed to roadways, traffic controls must be in place to protect from injury. Traffic hazards occur in parking lots, two-lane roads, city streets, interstates and even gravel, rural roads.


Hazards and Exposure

Employees are exposed to the following hazards when working along roadways:

  • Moving construction vehicles
  • Noise from motors and vehicles
  • Limited visibility from machinery/dust
  • Night work and limited lights
  • Close proximity to traffic
  • Inclement weather
  • Slip, trip, and fall hazards

Personal Protective Equipment

When working in traffic PPE is required:

  • Reflective, high-visibility vest or clothing
  • Hard hat
  • Eye Protection
  • Protective footwear

The Motorist’s Perspective

  • Traffic lane confusion
  • Confusing flagger signals
  • Workers difficult to see
  • Start and stop traffic
  • Limited driver visibility
  • Unclear lane marking
  • Vision obscured from dust by roadside work

Best Practice

  • Effective work space safety protects motorists, employees and visitors
  • Drivers will reduce their speed only if they perceive a need to do so
  • Complacency kills construction employees
  • Wear reflective high-visibility vests
  • Minimize the amount of time employees need to be exposed to traffic
    • Get in, get done, get out
  • Construction zone flaggers must be trained in appropriate training methods
  • Completely block side streets if possible to eliminate traffic hazards
  • Limit the amount of personnel in the area
  • Create out of bounds areas that are off limits to employees due to the traffic hazard
  • Flaggers must be readily visible to traffic
  • Removed construction debris that can become a hazard for employees and motorists
  • Only equipment and machinery necessary to do the job should be present in the work zone, remove non-essential items
  • Remove worn, old non-reflective traffic control devices from service
  • Boom lifts and lift trucks should be shielded from impact by an oncoming motorist
  • Light night work areas with flood lighting
  • Equipment flood lighting should function
  • Equipment back up alarms should function
  • Never run through moving traffic or machines
  • Provide an emergency egress/escape route in case of emergency