The Road to Safety

By: Amanda Ibey| Writer / Editor

Consider this: The odds of a construction worker getting hit in a work zone have increased by 200 percent.

Staggering, right?

About 60 percent of those incidents come from the traveling public, the majority who are driving distracted or under the influence.

Approximately 35 percent comes from equipment used inside the work zone, and the remainder comes from miscellaneous events like heat stroke or stress.

To better protect our workers, we need consistency in three areas:

  1. We need consistency across all work zones and job sites that feature the same setup and take-down processes.
  2. We need consistency of flaggers and workers across all work zones and job sites.
  3. We need consistency in the driving public’s reaction to approaching a work zone, how they drive through it, and how they exit.

Achieving consistency is absolutely doable, and here are four critical steps you can take right now.

4 Critical Steps to Create a More Consistent and Safer Work Zone

  1. Review the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. The manual sets minimum standards, provides guidance and ensures uniformity of traffic control devices across the nation. OSHA and VOSHA references this manual as a compliance guide to ensure worker safety.
  2. Design a Traffic Control Plan.At a minimum, appoint a competent person to design a TCP for every work zone setup and take-down.

At AGC/VT, we’ve made it insanely easy for members to create a TCP that ensures consistency and meets all regulations.

Grab your copy of the Flagger Workzone Safety Manual to find the planning tools, diagrams, and information you need. Inside, you’ll find worksheets to help you design a Daily Traffic Control Plan and an Internal Traffic Control Plan, tips for Emergency Planning, and requirements for a Temporary Traffic Control “Work Zone” for External Traffic.

  1. Distribute the Traffic Control Plan to Everyone—Especially ALL Flaggers.Don’t leave setup and take down to the whim of your subcontracted flaggers. Sure, if you’re working with a reputable flagging company, the flaggers should be trained in safe traffic control practices and public contact techniques. But communicate with them and everyone on the site what’s expected during setup and take down and throughout the day as the work is getting done.
  2. Conduct Frequent and Regular Inspections.Don’t wait for OSHA or VOSHA, or heaven forbid an accident, to clue you in that your team isn’t implementing the plan. Have that competent person, the one responsible for designing the TCP, periodically   inspect the job from setup to take down. Internal checks increase accountability and communicate to employees the seriousness of following the plan.

To make this easy for you, we’ve included a blank Work Zone Traffic Control Inspection Form in the Flagger Workzone Safety Manual.

Need More Help Designing Your TCP?

AGC/VT’s Safety Guidelines are intended to provide you with an approach on how your job site or company can enhance its safety process. But every business can be unique. To meet your specific challenges, we’re here to help.

Call the AGC/VT offices at (802) 223-2374 for more information on how to create a safe working environment and safety culture for you and your employees.