Guest post: Dennis Kaminski
Roadways and construction workers put their lives at risk while working on the highways and streets. The job turns more dangerous on the fall of darkness when visibility turns low. Late night activities also expose the workers to high-speed traffic and chances of accident also increase. Then there are health concerns about the amount of dust and vehicular pollution that the workforce has to face. It becomes necessary to adopt few precautionary measures and use safety equipments which keep the workers safe. This article will give a detailed guide on how road workers can stay safe while working in the harsh conditions on the streets.
High Visibility Apparel
One of the major reasons of roadway accidents is low visibility where vehicles cannot see workers in the night. Governments in many countries have made it mandatory for employers to provide their laborers with high visibility apparels. These specially designed vests and jackets glow in the dark making the workers visible to traffic. They can be easily spotted which prevents chances of collision and accidents.
It is imperative that workers use minimum protective gear when they are working in a hazardous profession. This includes basic items like helmets, gloves, boots etc which keep the personnel safe in the working zone. Engaging in outdoor construction air also exposes the workers to high levels of pollution.
They have to face the pollution emitted from the flow of traffic along with the smoke and smudge of construction machinery. To prevent respiratory diseases and other health problems, workers should be equipped with protective masks. You must go for high quality pollution masks like the Totobobo masks which provide complete protection from pollution and other airborne hazards. The masks easily fits every face shape and can be modified according to facial structures.
Workers need to be safe and work without tension when they are on the road. It is necessary to use to temporary traffic barriers like cones, grills, etc which warns the drivers in advance. They should be placed at a sufficient distance ahead of the work zone so that drivers get adequate time to react. The whole operation area should be guarded with such barriers to provide protection to the workers. Barriers which be reflective or glow in the dark to mark out the area clearly at night.
Signs and Warnings
The work area should be clearly marked with signs and warnings for approaching vehicles. This should be placed well ahead the working zone and caution the drivers of an approaching sensitive zone. You should use signs like “Slow Down,” “Men at Work” or “Working Area Ahead” to notify drivers. The signs should be glowing or reflective to make them visible after the onset of evening.
Do not use old and worn out signs as they may be insufficient to draw the attention of the vehicles. Also, place the signs at strategic location and heights so that approaching vehicles can locate them even without trying. Having construction vehicles with flashing lights and arrow boards improves the chances of drawing attention of motorists.
This can be done as a part of the traffic sign and barriers, though these equipments are used for channeling rather than creating barriers. Placing drums and traffic cones to channel traffic is necessary when you are blocking an area of constant traffic flow. The cones are placed in a line and direct the vehicles to a detour away from the working zone. It is beneficial to place a person dedicated to controlling traffic and assisting vehicles to navigate the working area.
Along with equipments, workers should also be trained in the hazards and safety procedures of working on the road. Sometime your employer may make you undergo such a program or you can even do it independently and increase your chances of employment. Knowing what to expect makes you prepared to deal with the challenges you might face as a road or construction worker.
These simple tips will ensure complete workers safety. For one, employees should not attempt anything dangerous without the access to proper equipment. Knowing how to handle the different equipment properly and understanding company policies is important too. Employers need to offer proper training to ensure that employees have better safety. It’s also important for the company to focus on offering easy communication and workflow for the employees.
The steps are pretty easy to follow and with the right training and traffic safety equipment, you’ve nothing to worry about.