The Road to Safety

Date: April 16, 2024

Carrie Kolodji, Sr. Risk Control Analyst

Best Practices for Work Zone Awareness

Highway and street construction workers face significant risks working alongside passing motorists, construction vehicles, and heavy equipment. The dangers increase when machinery is positioned incorrectly, signage is insufficient, or workers fail to adhere to safety protocols. These hazards can have severe consequences, potentially resulting in injuries or even fatalities. All parties involved in road construction projects must always prioritize safety to prevent tragic incidents from occurring. This includes proper training, clear communication, and strict adherence to safety guidelines to ensure the well-being of all workers on site. Check out our best practices for staying safe in work zones.

  • Ensure the work zone is correctly designed. A formal traffic plan should be in place and approved by the applicable regulatory body. Refer to MUTCD Section 6c.01 for guidance.
  • Require workers to complete flagger training. Remember to re-train as required per your state's DOT.
  • Flaggers should never have their back to oncoming traffic that hasn't come to a complete stop. Prohibit this per company policy.
  • Flaggers or other workers who notice an errant vehicle must alert other crew immediately of the potential danger.
  • Flaggers must know their personal escape path if an emergency occurs (e.g., dealing with a vehicle not slowing/stopping). Drivers often are distracted, so workers should always be on the defensive.
  • Proper PPE must be worn as intended (e.g., vest closed in front) and maintained.
  • Use Class 3 High-Vis PPE. Visibility is crucial.
  • Inspect PPE before each use to ensure it is in good condition. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions regarding maintenance and replacement. Refer to OSHA 1926.28(A) ANSI/ISEA 107-2004 for additional guidance regarding PPE.

Maintaining work zone awareness is crucial for the safety and well-being of workers. By being cautious in work zones, workers can significantly reduce the risk of incidents on the job. Ultimately, recognizing the importance of work zone awareness is the key to fostering a culture of safety and responsibility on the job. For more work zone safety tips, contact your local Risk Control Consultant. Click the button below to find an agent near you.

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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.


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