Making sure highway construction work zones are safe is important to construction companies, construction workers, and motorists. When construction zones are not in adherence with safety laws, tragic accidents can occur. In addition to the human toll, lawsuits from injured motorists and construction workers can be financially devastating. Ensuring that safety procedures are known and abided by in the construction zone is important to the safety of all who work or travel in those zones. Here’s some important information about highway work zone safety.
There are several ways to make sure highway work zones remain as safe as possible. Proper safety equipment for construction workers is a must. Each worker should have a hard hat, steel-toed boots, highly visible clothing, preferably with reflectors, and hearing protection.
Creating well-defined separate areas with safety cones, tape, and signs is also extremely important. It lets both motorists and construction workers know the boundaries of the work zone. Specific areas should be designated for tools, materials, and vehicle parking.
Make sure someone is always on duty directing traffic. Some of the worst accidents that occur in highway construction zones are between workers and motorists, and injuries and fatalities can happen on both ends. With someone properly directing the flow of traffic, the likelihood of these accidents is significantly lower.
Construction vehicle blinds spots are a huge danger in highway construction zones. Construction vehicles should never obstruct views of other vehicles or workers, and vehicle operators should make sure all mirrors are properly aligned to avoid accidents.
Daily safety meetings on the job are important. It’s not enough to just go over your safety program at the start of the job; meeting daily to go over procedures, any changes in the work environment, and confirm that all workers have the proper gear can literally be the difference between life and death.
Whenever possible, there should be someone on the job who can easily identify hazards, inspect the worksite, and report any issues with equipment or the work zone itself. Following Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations means having someone in place who can be a watchful eye.
A specific safety plan for emergencies is important. A plan for evacuation, medical attention, and hazard inspection are all vital to the safety of the highway construction zone. In the end, constant awareness of what is going on in all areas of the highway construction zone is essential.