The warmer weather means the road work season is fully in effect which means more and more work areas are emerging on highways, expressways and streets. It is also the time of year when more people are on the road traveling greater distances to the beach, mountains, and other vacation spots. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, (BLS) 2019 Fatal Occupational Injury (CFOI) census, there were 142 construction worker deaths due to road accidents involving motor vehicles. Of these, 81 were collisions with another vehicle, 34 collisions with objects other than vehicles, and 25 non-collisions such as inverted or crane vehicles. Create a plan Every project creating a road transport should have a plan for transportation management. The plan should consist of an interim traffic control plan to protect workers by safely conducting traffic around or through the work area. You should also have a traffic control plan within the work area that manages the flow of heavy equipment, construction vehicles, and workers. Proper traffic control The work area should consist of an advanced warning area with warning signals that alerts motorists of upcoming changes in driving conditions, a transition area that uses traffic control devices to close lanes and traffic patterns shifts, a buffer zone, work area, and termination zone To allow traffic to return to normal and an indication that the work area has ended. All traffic control devices whether cones, drums, bollards or markings must comply with the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) along with any government agency requirements. Create separate work areas Road construction work areas are usually busy areas with many work activities taking place at the same time. To avoid accidents, use cones, barrels and baffles to clearly define specific areas of the work area such as material storage, areas where heavy equipment is used, parking lots, and safe areas for workers on foot to move around. Wear appropriate clothing Safety equipment Appropriate safety equipment must be worn by all personnel within the work area. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including hard hats, steel toe shoes, and ultra-clear clothing, and depending on noise levels, hearing protection. All personal protective equipment must meet or exceed the standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). All garments that are highly visible whether a jacket, jacket, or shirt, must be bright fluorescent orange or lime / yellow and have a visible reflective material, especially if they are working at night, and must meet ANSI Class 2 or 3 standards Be aware of your surroundings regardless Of what your job duties entail in the work area, you must always be aware of what is happening around you. Avoid driving behind any vehicles that may be heading backwards or in the swing radius of heavy equipment. Whenever possible, face traffic while inside the work area or have a spotter available when you turn your back. Detection devices should also be used to monitor the movement of vehicles and heavy equipment within the work area in addition to traffic monitoring to alert workers to any potential hazards. Avoid blind spots Vehicles and heavy equipment are constantly moving within the work area including dump trucks, compressors, pavers, excavators, sidewalks and pulleys. Operators must ensure that all mirrors and visual aids are connected and operating properly, including backup alarms and lights. If you are on foot and working near these machines while in operation, remember that the driver has a limited line of sight. Always maintain eye contact with the driver. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if you can’t see them, they probably aren’t seeing them. Have a qualified person on hand The competent person must be on the job site whenever the work is being performed. According to OSHA, a competent person is someone who is “able to identify current and predictable hazards in surrounding areas, unhealthy, hazardous or dangerous working conditions for employees, and has permission to take immediate corrective measures to eliminate them.” A competent person is needed to carry out risk assessments and regular job site inspections. A competent person is also needed to select the appropriate class of personal protective equipment for workers to use and to approve the appropriate types of traffic control devices. Workers should report any hazards or unsafe equipment to the competent person assigned to the work area so that they can be corrected promptly. Start each work day with a safety meeting. In addition to ensuring that all employees on the job site have the appropriate training required, it is also a good idea to have a quick safety meeting before starting work. Since conditions can change drastically from day to day in the work area, workers should be kept informed of the work activity scheduled every day and notified of all potential risks. This is also a good time to ensure that all workers are wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment necessary for the work being done that day while they are wearing it. Have a site-specific security program Each road construction project differs and each work area has its own unique risks and challenges, so creating a site-specific safety program can go a long way in preventing accidents. The site safety program should include identification of all hazards and plans to control and mitigate them, schedules for routinely checking all equipment and materials, a plan for first aid and emergency medical care in the event of an accident, and safety training schedules for all employees. Staying hydrated Workers who build roads are vulnerable to heat-related stress and disease. Asphalt absorbs 95% of the sunlight and the temperature of asphalt can easily reach 30 ° F or higher than the ambient air temperature. Workers should drink plenty of water or liquids with a high content of electrolytes such as sports drinks or coconut water. Workers should also stay out of the heat and sunlight as much as possible especially on very hot days to avoid heat stroke, dehydration and heat exhaustion. What other safety tips should workers carrying out road construction work pay attention to? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below. Do you need more leads for the project? ConstructConnect finds you the best construction projects to bid and win even more work.