5 Safety Tips for Roadway Construction Workers
America’s roadway infrastructure is one of the most expansive and elaborate infrastructure systems in the world, and because of this, there is an ongoing demand for highway and interstate construction projects to help maintain and keep the streets efficient and safe. With changing budgets and a shrinking workforce, the need for construction crews to take on high-risk projects is increasing to prevent crumbling and overuse.
With that being said, cities implement work-zone safety plans to keep both workers and drivers safe. Coupled with traffic safety equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers, we’ve listed our top 5 safety tips to help keep roadway construction workers safe.
1. Workers Should Use Effective PPE
Work zones are dangerous areas, and there is no way to eliminate all risks. While this is an unfortunate reality, workers should have access to effective PPE. We’re talking about visible vests, hard hats, gloves, first-aid kits, eye protection, and ear protection – all pieces of traffic safety equipment that greatly reduce risks. While some regulations require certain items, going above and beyond with worker safety can make all the difference for those on the roads. As a company, don’t put your workers in unnecessary harm by overlooking the risks.
2. Conduct Team Safety Meetings
Daily team safety meetings can help ensure everyone is on the same page, knowing what needs to be done and how to conduct the tasks at hand in a safe, efficient manner. Starting each day with this focus can help provide instruction on project requirements, updates on the worksite, and what to expect in the coming days and weeks. These meetings can also provide opportunities to review legal requirements and any certifications that either site managers or individual workers must oversee. Reinforcing this practice can help foster a safer work environment.
3. Properly Control the Flow of Traffic
Lane closures and traffic redirection can be the most dangerous aspects of road work. Using road safety signs to properly alert drivers of sudden changes in traffic patterns helps mitigate accidents when motorists may be expecting normal road conditions. Both motorists and workers have the right to be aware of these sudden changes to keep road maintenance underway without compromising the safety of everyone in the area. Properly planned buffer zones, quality barriers, correct lighting, and clearly marked work zones are all ways to properly and safely control the flow of traffic.
4. Increase Everyone’s Visibility
Poor visibility – from both workers and drivers alike – can decrease safety in an instant. If a driver cannot see potential hazards, or work zones are poorly lit, accidents will most likely occur. From road safety signs to worker PPE, reflectability is one of the major factors that increase safety in both day and nighttime conditions. Keep hazardous areas free of large equipment and other obstructions that can impede visibility. Individual circumstances vary, but the importance of creating an environment with high visibility is vital to worker safety.
5. Make Safety Everyone’s #1 Responsibility
Create a culture of safety. Even if the site manager is being unsafe, the newest employee shouldn’t be afraid to correct their boss if dangerous conditions are being created. Companies can set the tone for this in team safety meetings, but culture goes beyond that. Provide workers with the correct equipment, setting them up for success across the board. Constantly evaluate and critique safety policies to ensure they follow the most basic and best site practices. Vigilance is the only way to ensure a culture of safety is met and maintained.
Interwest Safety: Your Safety Supply Company
We strive to not only manufacture high-quality equipment but to provide effective construction safety products. With over four decades of experience, we have five regional warehouses to meet your every work zone need. Contact our experts today to see how we can ensure roadway worker safety.