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Safety Tips

Protect workers on foot

April 1, 2012

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Highway construction zones can create a hazardous environment for workers. According to NIOSH, workers are susceptible to injuries from moving construction vehicles and equipment within work zones, as well as from passing motor vehicle traffic.

NIOSH offers the following tips for working in construction zones:

Traffic control plans

  • Close the road completely and reroute traffic whenever possible.
  • Force traffic moving in both directions onto one side of the road.
  • Set up traffic control within a reasonable time before construction begins.
  • Keep the dimensions of the work zone suitable for the work that is being conducted.
  • Stop work temporarily until safe conditions are provided.
  • Design the workspace to reduce blind spots.

Visibility measures

  • Provide workers with high-visibility equipment and gear.
  • Use signage, warning devices and concrete barriers in a consistent manner throughout the work zone.
  • Lower the height of lighting equipment to reduce glare for motorists.
  • Use glare-free light balloons and glare screens.
  • Implement portable lighting and equipment-mounted lighting.
  • Evaluate worker performance under various lighting and weather conditions.
  • Equip vehicles with additional mirrors or alarms to help workers keep track of objects behind vehicles.

Reviewing the construction area

  • Set up a process for reviewing near-miss incidents and hazards to eliminate safety risks.
  • Designate areas around operations where workers are prohibited, such as the blind spots of a dump truck.
  • Distribute worksite-specific materials, such as an Internal Traffic Control Plan, to employees at safety meetings.
  • Perform regular maintenance checks before using equipment and verify that problems are corrected.

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