Highway and street construction workers are at risk of both fatal and nonfatal injuries when working near passing motorists, construction vehicles, and equipment.
Before conducting roadwork jobs, review the required tasks, location, and time of day to determine the necessary equipment, personnel, and materials.
Plan how you will control traffic along the road and within the construction zone.
Have enough trained flaggers to complete your work.
Gather the signs, cones, flags, drums, and/or message boards for the job.
Inspect your signage to make sure it is in good repair and highly visible.
Clean or discard dirty equipment with limited visibility.
Get training in traffic control and safe work practices.
Set up and maintain your roadside work zone properly.
Get training on the equipment, chemicals, and materials that you will use.
Operate tools and equipment according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
To reduce their risk of injury from road traffic, workers and crew leaders should take the following actions:
- Wear high visibility clothing with a fluorescent background or reflective materials.
- Be aware of your surroundings and identify potential hazards.
- Stay out of lanes or areas where walking is prohibited.
- Make sure you are aware of and understand hand and other communication signals that will be used on the jobsite.
- Listen for reverse-signal alarms.
- Ask your supervisor about closing the road, rerouting to control traffic, or setting up barriers (concrete is more protective than cones).
- Have a traffic control expert walk or ride through the jobsite to look for evidence of near misses, such as skid marks or damaged barricades.
- Use traffic control devices such as signs, warning signals, paddles, and concrete barriers consistently throughout the entire work area.
- Have flaggers use devices that increase their visibility. For example, a flashing Slow/Stop paddle with a mounted strobe light.
Get training on the personal protective equipment (PPE) that you are required to wear. Consider earplugs or muffs, safety glasses, and fall protection depending on the job task.
In the work zone, watch for fast-moving motorists and large construction equipment.
Set up parking zones that have safe entrances and exits.
Group your vehicles on the same side of the road for visibility.
Set up the job site and tasks to minimize the need to cross the active road.
Set up traffic lanes within the jobsite for clear access and visibility.
Work facing traffic and stay alert, or station a lookout to watch oncoming traffic.
Have an escape route and/or plan of action in place.
Watch for vehicles backing up because the driver often has a limited view.
Practice good communication and make sure all vehicles have backup alarms.
If you are flagging, acting as a lookout, or traffic director, remain alert. Do not drink, smoke, or have a conversation while performing these duties.
Roadwork is a physical job requiring strength and endurance. Stay fit so your body can do the work.
Keep your back straight and use proper lifting techniques.
Use anti-vibration gloves when working with vibrating equipment.
Take frequent micro-breaks every 30 minutes to stretch and relax your muscles. Rotate your tasks during the day to use different muscle groups.
Road work occurs in all types of weather and throughout the year. Wear appropriate clothing for the climate. Light colored layers and sunscreen protect you during the hot months while layers of moisture-wicking clothing protect you in the cold.
Take safety on the road!