As highway infrastructure progresses, transportation agencies are rebuilding and improving existing roadways. At the same time, traffic continues to grow and create more congestion in metropolitan areas such as Minneapolis. The combination of more work alongside increasingly heavier traffic can result in increased safety considerations for highway workers.
The leading cause of highway construction worker injuries and fatalities, however, is coming into contact with construction vehicles, objects, and equipment. Injuries and deaths from traffic and working conditions are preventable through implementing safety policies and procedures in your company and educating your employees on how to avoid injuries and work safely.
Below are 6 ways that you can keep your road workers safe while they are working on the highway.
1. Develop a Safety Management Plan
Your plan should consist of a temporary traffic control plan to protect workers by safely conducting traffic around or through the work zone. You should also have a traffic control plan for inside the work zone that manages the flow of heavy equipment, construction vehicles, and workers.
2. Direct the Flow of Traffic
The work zone should consist of an advanced warning area with warning signs alerting motorists of upcoming changes in driving conditions, a transition area using traffic control devices for lane closures and traffic pattern shifts, a buffer area, the work area and a termination area to allow traffic to resume back to normal and a sign indicating that the work zone has ended.
3. Plot Out Work Zones
Road construction work zones are busy areas usually with several work activities taking place at the same time. To avoid accidents, use cones, barrels, and barriers to clearly delineate specific areas of the work zone such as material storage, areas where heavy equipment is being used, vehicle parking and safe areas for workers on foot to move about in.
4. OSHA-Approved Safety Equipment
Proper safety equipment should be worn by all personnel inside the work zone. Personal protective equipment including hard hats, steel-toed boots, highly visible clothing and, depending on the noise levels, hearing protection.
All PPE should meet or exceed OSHA standards. All highly visible clothing whether it’s a vest, jacket or shirt should be bright fluorescent colors and have visible reflective material and should meet ANSI Class 2 or 3 standards.
5. Be Aware of Blind Spots
Vehicles and heavy equipment are constantly in motion inside the work zone. Operators should ensure that all mirrors and visual aid devices are attached and operating properly including backup alarms and lights.
Make sure that all machine operators and workers on foot are aware of the blind spot and potentially dangerous areas where visibility is limited.
6. Hold Safety Meetings and Reviews
In addition to ensuring that all personnel at the job site have the proper training required it is also a good idea to have a quick safety meeting before work begins. Since working conditions can change from day to day in the work zone workers should be briefed on the work activity scheduled each day and notified of all potential hazards. This is also a good time to ensure that all workers have and are wearing the proper safety equipment.
Contact MC Tool & Safety for Your Safety Equipment Needs
Keep your workforce safe this winter with industrial supplies from MC Tool & Safety. We provide a wide range of products for all types of industries in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. You can count on us for affordable prices, fast, service, and products of the highest quality.
If you have any questions or need to order products contact us at 888-206-2569 or you can message us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are your #1 industry equipment supplier in East Central Minnesota.