Properly Control Traffic
The work zone should consist of an advanced warning area with warning signs alerting motorists of upcoming changes in driving conditions, a transition area using traffic control devices for lane closures and traffic pattern shifts, a buffer area, the work area and a termination area to allow traffic to resume back to normal and a sign indicating that the work zone has ended.
All traffic control devices whether it's cones, barrels, barriers or signs should comply with the Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) along with any state agency requirements.
Create Separate Work Areas
Michael Bach Atlanta Road construction work zones are busy areas usually with several work activities taking place at the same time. To avoid accidents, use cones, barrels, and barriers to clearly delineate specific areas of the work zone such as material storage, areas where heavy equipment is being used, vehicle parking and safe areas for workers on foot to move about in.
Wear Proper Safety Equipment
Proper safety equipment should be worn by all personnel inside the work zone. Personal protective equipment (PPE) including hard hats, steel-toed boots, highly visible clothing and, depending on the noise levels, hearing protection.
All PPE should meet or exceed the American National Standards Institute's (ANSI) developed standards. All highly visible clothing whether it's a vest, jacket or shirt should be bright fluorescent orange or lime/yellow and have visible reflective material especially if working at night and should meet ANSI Class 2 or 3 standards.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Regardless of what your job duties entail in the work zone, you should always be mindful of what's going on around you. Avoid walking behind any vehicles that may be backing up or into the swing radius of heavy equipment.
Whenever possible, face traffic while inside the work zone or have a spotter available when your back is turned. Spotters should also be used to monitor the movement of vehicles and heavy equipment inside the work zone in addition to monitoring traffic to alert workers to any potential dangers.
Avoid Blind Spots
Michael Bach Atlanta explains vehicles and heavy equipment are constantly moving about inside the work zone including dump trucks, compactors, pavement planers, excavators, pavers, and rollers. Operators should ensure that all mirrors and visual aid devices are attached and operating properly including backup alarms and lights.
If you are on foot and working near these machines while in operation remember that the driver has a limited line of sight. Always stay in visual contact with the driver. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if you can't see them then they probably don't see you.
Have a Competent Person on Hand
A competent person should be onsite whenever work is being performed. Per OSHA, a competent person is someone "capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings, or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has the authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them." A competent person is needed to conduct hazard assessments and regular inspections of the worksite.