Road construction is inherently unsafe. In most cases, you’re working alongside traffic which can be speeding past, even if you’ve put up signs to slow them down. Alongside this, it’s common for sections of road to be repaired or constructed at night. This decreases the chances of a worker being seen by a motorist and increases the likelihood of a fatality happening.
That’s why it’s essential that all road construction workers take the following safety precautions:
Potentially the most important safety habit to get into on a construction site is to wear hi-vis workwear. This bright clothing will help to ensure you are seen by motorists and other workers. Don’t forget that it can be difficult for a driver in a construction vehicle to see you, especially if you blend into the background.
Hi-vis clothing makes sure this doesn’t happen and helps everyone know where people are.
Hazard Check First
Before you start any construction work you should always do a hazard check. This means looking at the potential hazards. These will depend on the role you’re fulfilling. For example, if you’re working on your feet then you’ll want to make sure everyone else can see you. But, if you’re driving a vehicle then you need to know where the blind spots are.
Doing a hazard check means you’re prepared for issues and can get help when needed.
Construction vehicles are generally large, the driver will struggle to see everything going on around them and have plenty of blind spots. That’s why it’s essential there are spotters in place. These should be in direct line-of-sight of the driver and be able to signal if everything is okay, danger, and even which way to turn.
Spotters are invaluable for the safety of everyone on-site.
Check Warning Signs
If you’re undertaking road construction or repair and drivers are capable of passing you then you should make sure that all the warning signs are in place. At the least, you should be checking these at the beginning of each shift.
The warning signs protect you and the rest of the construction crew from being accidentally hit by a driver not paying attention. They aren’t a substitute for you paying attention but they can help.
Ensure Training and Procedures Followed
Before working on a road construction site you should be properly trained in the equipment, machinery, and safety rules. If you’re not then you shouldn’t be on-site.
Once you know these details it’s your responsibility to ensure you abide by them, as should your colleagues. Don’t be afraid to call out a colleague not adhering to them, they aren’t just risking their life. One mistake can cause injury or even death to several road workers simultaneously.
Road construction is an important job and can be fun, providing you adopt the basic safety principles. They are there to protect you. Make sure you’re aware of them and adhere to them while staying hydrated. That will increase your chances of making it safely home every night.