Work Zone Safety

Work Zone Safety

From 2011-2016, over 3,300 people have died nationally in work zones. Setting up a safe work zone is a vital consideration when roadwork is necessary, but much of the responsibility also falls upon the individual driver, with drivers and passengers making up the majority of work zone fatalities. So what are the elements that make up a safe work zone? How can drivers ensure they can safetly navigate a work zone?

Setting Up a Safe Work Zone

  •  Have a Plan & Safety Program

    • All construction zones and roadwork projects should have a prepared transportation management plan. This should include a traffic control plan for both outside traffic and internal vehicle movement. 
  •  Keep Control of Traffic

    • Any properly set up roadwork zone will have signage set up well in advance of the actual work zone. This will warn drivers of the upcoming changes in traffic patterns. Signage will continue through traffic pattern shifts, the buffer area, the work area itself, and finally a termination zone so traffic may resume normally. 
  • Provide Separate Work Areas

    • There are a multitude of work activities occuring simultaneously in a road work zone. Traffic safety equipment such as cones, delineators, etc. should be used to clearly designate specific areas of the work zone such as parking or areas where heavy equipment is in use. 

  •  Wear the Proper Protective Equipment

    • All employees within a road work zone should be wearing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE). This could include hi-vis clothing, boots, hardhats and more. Every site is different. 
  •  Always Be Aware

    • Whether you're an employee laying asphalt or directing traffic, or a commuter navigating the work zone, it's vital to be aware of whats going on around you. Employees should try and face traffic whenever possible and have a spotter when it is not. 
  •  Watch for Blind Spots

    • In a work zone, vehicles, workers, and heavy equipment are constantly moving within. It is important for workers on foot to be aware of the blind spots on these vehicles and equipment. Those working around these vehicles should always try and stay in a driver's line of site, while regular drivers and passengers should also consider the construction vehicles' blind spots, and their own. 
  •  Begin Every Day with a Safety Meeting

    • Safety meetings are a good way to ensure everyone is up to date on the safety program, make sure the proper PPE is worn, and brief employees on any changes to the work activities or conditions.