Recommended Practices for Construction Safety Week
According to data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, between 2017-2019, 33.4 percent of fatal work zone crashes happened in urban areas during nighttime. In honor of Construction Safety Week, we must come together to build a stronger, safer industry. If your crew is working at night, check out these recommended practices.
Before work begins, a thorough safety plan should be in place to provide direction and protect everyone on site. Educate all employees on nighttime hazards and dangers, healthy sleeping, eating, and hydration habits. Provide workers with regular refresher training.
Signage and Cones
All job sites should be set up with appropriate signage, cones, and barriers based on what is referenced in the traffic control plan.
- Set up tapers to be an appropriate distance away from the work area.
- Space cones per the specs and equal distance from each other to prevent confusion, as noted in the traffic safety plan. Contractors should ensure that cone spacing meets the safety plan.
- Place barriers on the leading edge of holes in the pavement.
- Complete all work behind the cones in the closed lanes.
- No work or vehicles should be beyond the cones.
Since the job site will not have natural lighting, set up artificial light, such as area lighting and equipment lighting, for workers to do their job and stay safe. Remember to check equipment and vehicles to ensure that proper warning lights work.
Personal Protective Equipment
All workers must wear proper Personal Protective Equipment for the work performed as determined by the contractor's Hazard Control Plan, OSHA, MUTCD, and other regulatory agencies for your area. PPE commonly used includes steel toe boots, hard hats when working overhead, safety glasses, gloves, and hearing and respiratory protection. A headlamp is also a good option.
Required high visibility PPE varies by state and regulation. Typically for federal work, Class 2 or 3 type PPE is required to be worn. In Iowa, Class 2 vests and other Class 3 items are required including pants or leggings. Flaggers should wear reflective material on all items including the vest, pants, sleeves, and a hat.
When using equipment on the job site at night, remember these safety tips.
- Inspect all equipment, vehicles, tools, cords, and materials before starting each night. Inspect the job site regularly for hazardous conditions.
- All vehicles and equipment should be in good mechanical condition.
- Always secure loads.
- Ensure backup alarms are functional.
- Use lifts on trucks to lower equipment.
BITCO is here to help protect your employees while on the job. For more construction safety tips, contact your local Risk Control Consultant. To find an agent near you, click the "Find An Agent" button below.
For information purposes only. BITCO's blog content does not address all potential circumstances and is not a substitute for business, safety, or legal consultation.