How to Protect Your Roadside Workers
Summers in Canada are also known as construction season. It is a time for provinces and municipalities to repair road damage that has been done over the course of the winter and to build new infrastructure to support growing communities. And while this work is absolutely necessary, it does come with a certain amount of risk. When motorists are distracted or driving too quickly, roadside construction sites can become dangerous or even deadly.
If you employ roadside workers, it is your responsibility to ensure that the proper safety protocol is followed so that you can protect your workers. In order to make roadside work safer for your employees, be sure that you are following all of the necessary protocols.
Unless you are planning to close a road completely while the work is being done, you need to ensure that there is a safe way for traffic to move through or around the construction site. Implementing traffic controls with a proposed traffic pattern will help you to do this.
Depending on the complexity of the job, you may need to conduct a dry run of these traffic controls to make sure that they make sense to motorists. If you notice that anything about the traffic pattern is confusing to drivers, then make the necessary changes.
The clearer the instructions are to drivers, the less likely they will be to make mistakes that could endanger your workers.
Signage and Barricades
Another way to protect your roadside workers is to make sure that there is very clear signage that they are about to enter a construction area. Ensure you check with the municipality or province regarding the specific regulations for signage and barricades in the area.
Place warning signs well ahead of where the work zone begins so that drivers have time to slow down. These signs should be placed where they are highly visible, and they should be in good working order.
As motorists travel past the construction zone, there should be barricades such as cones and barrels that easily guide them on where to go. These devices should be placed close enough together so that drivers are not able to deviate from this path.
Ensure that your workers are wearing the necessary safety gear to keep them highly visible to motorists. This will usually include orange or yellow vests with reflective strips. Workers should also be wearing any other safety gear that is necessary to their specific job, such as hard hats, gloves, safety google, safety shoes, etc.
On most roadside construction sites, there should be one or more persons performing flagging duties and helping to direct motorists. Flaggers should be highly visible and carry a radio in order to communicate with other members of their team.
Any vehicle that is part of your roadside construction work should also have its own safety protocols to ensure that your workers are protected. For example, they should be equipped with backing alarms and signs that indicate “Slow Moving.” Anyone operating one of these vehicles should have all the necessary training and proper equipment.
Additionally, cones should be placed around parked vehicles in order to warn motorists and direct them around these vehicles.
Take Extra Precautions at Night
If your road crews will be working after the sun goes down, the risk of an accident goes up, so extra precautions must be taken in order to manage this risk.
For nighttime crews, you will want to have increased warning distances for signage as well as flashing lights around the worksite.
Contact TeksMed today
The best way to protect your workers is to take precautions to make sure that accidents don’t happen. But when injuries do occur on the jobsite, TeksMed is here to assist you with your disability management and back to work programs. Contact us today to learn more.