Work zone Safety

National Work Zone Awareness

Work Zones Need Your Undivided Attention, We’re all in this together.

The national campaign is conducted every year at the start of the construction season to attract national attention to drive carefully through highway construction and repair sites. Each year, approximately 1,000 people are killed in roadway work zones.

Please Drive Defensively in work zones. Work zones are very dangerous places because so much is happening. To safely navigate through one, always slow down, stay alert, focused and be patient. Always expect the unexpected. Work zone workers, equipment and materials may be in the traffic lanes. Altered road conditions such as edge drop-offs, sharp turns or sloped surfaces can affect your vehicles stability.

Here are 10 defensive driving safety tips for navigating through work zones:

10 Defensive Driving Tips for Work Zones

  • EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED! (Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be changed, and people may be working on or near the road.)
  • SLOW DOWN! Prepare to merge into different traffic lanes. (Speeding is one of the major causes of work zone crashes; obey posted speed limits. Speeding ticket fines are doubled for work zone violations)

  • DON’T TAILGATE! KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE BETWEEN YOU AND THE CAR AHEAD OF YOU. Allow plenty of following distance – at least 3 seconds so you have time to react to hazards (The most common crash in a highway work zone is the rear end collision. So, don’t tailgate)
  • KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE BETWEEN YOUR VEHICLE AND THE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS AND THEIR EQUIPMENT. Watch for the orange work zone cones.
  • PAY ATTENTION TO THE SIGNS! Be prepared to stop! (The warning signs are there to help you and other drivers move safely through the work zone. Observe the posted signs until you see the one that says you’ve left the work zone.)

  • OBEY ROAD CREW FLAGGERS! (The flagger knows what is best for moving traffic safely in the work zone. A flagger has the same authority as a regulatory sign, so you can be cited for disobeying his or her directions.)
  • STAY ALERT AND MINIMIZE DISTRACTIONS! (Dedicate your full attention to the roadway and avoid changing radio stations or eating while driving in a work zone.)
  • KEEP UP WITH THE TRAFFIC FLOW. (Motorists can help maintain traffic flow and posted speeds by merging smoothly, and not slowing to “gawk” at road work equipment and crews.)

  • SCHEDULE ENOUGH TIME TO DRIVE SAFELY AND CHECK RADIO, TV AND WEBSITES FOR TRAFFIC INFORMATION. (Expect delays and leave early so you can reach your destination on time. Check the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse for information on work zone delays throughout the country.)
  • BE PATIENT AND STAY CALM. (Work zones aren’t there to personally inconvenience you. Remember, the work zone crew members are working to improve the roads and make your future drive safer.)

Information provided by FHWA, Workzonesafety.org and the National Traffic Safety Council.

Today’s Post is by Ken Oswald, Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

keno@plateautel.com

 


Mobile Equipment Safety

When speaking about equipment and safety, we usually tend to think about lockout/tagout, guards, etc… on manufacturing equipment that is stationary, permanently in place in the workplace. Mobile machinery and equipment however still kill over 400 workers each year.

While flaggers are obviously the ones who are most immediately in danger of being hit by a piece of mobile equipment, anyone who finds himself around trucks, buses, plows and other heavy equipment is at risk. In many cases, with the forementioned vehicles, the line of sight is greatly reduced and blind spots are numerous.

Some basics for mobile equipment safety
1. Everyone working in or around mobile equipment should be wearing high-visibility vests.
2. All heavy equipment operator should be in constant radio contact with a person on the ground whose job it is to prevent accidents.
3. As much as possible, pedestrian and vehicle paths should be kept separated. When and where they must intersect the crossing should be clearly marked so that both pedestrians and drivers know where the area of high risk is.
4. Drivers should backup only when it is absolutely necessary. As much as possible drivers should be looking ahead. Backing up is the single most dangerous movement and where most accidents occur.
5. Backup alarms should be installed on all heavy equipment to warn pedestrians that the drivers’ visibility has just been greatly impaired.

For further documentation (especially for training employees) go to the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health website and download the “Mobile Equipment Safety” training document.


Traffic Safety Alert- National Workzone Safety Awareness

National Work Zone Awareness Week Apr 23-27, 2012.

Work Zones Need Your Undivided Attention

The national campaign is conducted every year at the start of the construction season to attract national attention to drive carefully through highway construction and repair sites. Each year, approximately 1,000 people are killed in roadway work zones.

Please Drive Defensively in work zones. Work zones are very dangerous places because so much is happening. To safely navigate through one, always slow down, stay alert, focused and be patient. Always expect the unexpected. Work zone workers, equipment and materials may be in the traffic lanes. Altered road conditions such as edge drop-offs, sharp turns or sloped surfaces can affect your vehicles stability.

Here are 10 defensive driving safety tips for navigating through work zones:

10 Defensive Driving Tips for Work Zones

  • EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED! (Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be changed, and people may be working on or near the road.)
  • SLOW DOWN! Prepare to merge into different traffic lanes. (Speeding is one of the major causes of work zone crashes; obey posted speed limits. Speeding ticket fines are doubled for work zone violations)

  • DON’T TAILGATE! KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE BETWEEN YOU AND THE CAR AHEAD OF YOU. Allow plenty of following distance at least 3 seconds so you have time to react to hazards (The most common crash in a highway work zone is the rear end collision. So, dont tailgate)
  • KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE BETWEEN YOUR VEHICLE AND THE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS AND THEIR EQUIPMENT. Watch for the orange work zone cones.
  • PAY ATTENTION TO THE SIGNS! Be prepared to stop! (The warning signs are there to help you and other drivers move safely through the work zone. Observe the posted signs until you see the one that says you’ve left the work zone.)

  • OBEY ROAD CREW FLAGGERS! (The flagger knows what is best for moving traffic safely in the work zone. A flagger has the same authority as a regulatory sign, so you can be cited for disobeying his or her directions.)
  • STAY ALERT AND MINIMIZE DISTRACTIONS! (Dedicate your full attention to the roadway and avoid changing radio stations or eating while driving in a work zone.)
  • KEEP UP WITH THE TRAFFIC FLOW. (Motorists can help maintain traffic flow and posted speeds by merging smoothly, and not slowing to gawk at road work equipment and crews.)
  • SCHEDULE ENOUGH TIME TO DRIVE SAFELY AND CHECK RADIO, TV AND WEBSITES FOR TRAFFIC INFORMATION. (Expect delays and leave early so you can reach your destination on time. Check the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse for information on work zone delays throughout the country.)
  • BE PATIENT AND STAY CALM. (Work zones aren’t there to personally inconvenience you. Remember, the work zone crew members are working to improve the roads and make your future drive safer.)

Information provided by FHWA, Workzonesafety.org and the National Traffic Safety Council.

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald

Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

koswald


What Class Vest am I wearing?

In yesterday’s post, we talked about what class vest was needed where (see “What Class Vest do I Need?“). Today we are going to look at what makes up the different classes that we are talking about.

At first glance, the answer to the title of today’s post might seem an obvious one… “Just look at the tag in your vest!”. The problem is that what the tag says isn’t always what the vest is. We’ve talked about this in a post back on March 25th entitled “Counterfeit PPE“. Most often the issue is that the manufacturer of the vest didn’t realize that the amount of background material is reduced when the reflective material is added resulting in a vest that doesn’t have enough background material to meet the class rating that the manufacturer puts on the label. Because ANSI doesn’t have enforcement authority (they only set the standards), many of these vests end up out there with the consumer thinking that he’s got the correct vest when, in fact, he doesn’t.

With that in mind, here’s a chart outlining what is required for each class vest. It is taken from a 3M document that you can download entitled “ANSI/ISEA 107-2004 made easy: A Quick Reference to High-Visibility Safety Apparel


You just ran over a little girl

Last Friday we ran a post on the record low fatalities in the highways. While that’s good news, a British Columbia company wants to make sure that we don’t rest on our laurels.

School zones and other areas where children play are still problem areas. Getting drivers to slow down is still a priority.

Preventable, out of Canada, has come up with a novel approach. They have painted a 3D illusion into the middle of the street that makes it look, at a distance of 100 feet, as if a little girl is in the middle of the road reaching for a ball. Watch the video from Youtube:

A lot of buzz has already been generated around the issue of panic-stricken motorists suddenly swerving and hitting other cars or children as well as the issue of desensitizing drivers who might not react in time when the image is not an illusion but a real child.

For the time being, they are closely monitoring the spot to see how drivers react and what positive or negative effects this approach might have.

Either way, it’s an interesting approach to a problem that kills almost 1 child a day in the BC area! Time alone will tell if it works.


Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices

Last week, we took a quick look at traffic control devices (see part 1 and part 2).

At least one of my readers asked me for more information. Rather than try to figure out what this reader needs, I figured I’d just point him, and you, to the 2009 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) which is available for download on the Department of Transportation’s website.

You can download the whole thing (27.2 MB) or just the section that is relevant to what you are looking for. Click on the image of the cover below to go to the MUTCD download page.


The Basics of Work Zone Traffic Control Devices (Part 2 of 2)

Type II traffic control devices are lightweight traffic control devices that are individually rated according to the Test Level of NCHRP (National Cooperative Highway Research Program). It must pass the 100 km/hr crash test.

This category includes roll-up signs and Type I, Type II and Type III barricades.

Type III Traffic Control Devices is a classification for barriers and other large or fixed devices. These also need to be tested in accordance with the NCHRP-350 standard.

Water filled longitudinal barricades, concrete barriers, crash cushions as well as fixed steel barriers along highways are included in this category.

 

 

Type IV traffic control devices is trailer mounted devices such as work area lights, portable traffic signals and flashing arrow panels. Because they are not intended as barriers, they are not required to have crash testing. These devices should be removed when not in use.

 

Relevant Documents:

Download the NCHRP Report 350 at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_350-a.pdf


The Basics of Work Zone Traffic Control Devices (Part 1 of 2)

Used to define spaces, separate and direct traffic, barricades, delineators, drums and other traffic control devices are a standard part of construction sites and highway work. As such, they are subject to standards and regulations. In this article we are going to look at these items and explain what the different types are and how they should be used as well as the different materials available.

Traffic control devices fall into 4 categories:

Type I traffic control devices are those that are self-certified by the manufacturer of the devices. Self-certification should identify the Test Level of NCHRP (National Cooperative Highway Research Program) that the device passed. NCHRP Report 350 outlines the procedures, parameter and criteria to use for these tests (the link to this document is listed at the end of this paper).

Traffic control devices in this category include such items as drums, cones, panels and delineators.




The Basics of Traffic Control (Part 11)

5. Type of Temporary Traffic Control Zone Activities

The five categories of work duration and their time at a location shall be:

A. Long-term stationary is work that occupies a location more than 3 days.

B. Intermediate-term stationary is work that occupies a location more than one daylight period up

to 3 days, or nighttime work lasting more than 1 hour.

C. Short-term stationary is daytime work that occupies a location for more than 1 hour within a

single daylight period.

D. Short duration is work that occupies a location up to 1 hour.

E. Mobile is work that moves intermittently or continuously.

6. Typical Applications

This section is a 98 page document with drawings and schematics outlining examples relating to TTCs as outlined below:

  • Work Outside of Shoulder (see Section 6G.06)
  • Work on the Shoulder (see Sections 6G.07 and 6G.08)
  • Work Within the Traveled Way of Two-Lane Highways (see Section 6G.10)
  • Work Within the Traveled Way of Urban Streets (see Section 6G.11)
  • Work Within the Traveled Way at an Intersection and Sidewalks (see Section 6G.13)
  • Work Within the Traveled Way of Multi-lane, Nonaccess Controlled Highways (see Section 6G.12)
  • Work Within the Traveled Way of Expressways and Freeways (see Section 6G.14)
  • Work in the Vicinity of Highway-Rail Grade Crossings (see Section 6G.19)

7. Control of traffic through traffic incident management areas

This section covers issues like major traffic incidents (traffic incidents involving hazardous materials, fatal traffic crashes involving numerous vehicles, and other natural or man-made disasters), intermediate traffic incidents and use of emergency-vehicle lighting.