OSHA Quick Card: Workzone Traffic Safety

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Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Summary Statement

Brief description of remaining safe in a workzone, focusing on traffic hazards.

Employees being struck by vehicles or mobile equipment lead to many work zone fatalities or injuries. Work zones need traffic controls identified by signs, cones, barrels and barriers.

Drivers, employees on foot, and pedestrians must be able to see and understand the proper routes. Construction project managers determine traffic control plans within construction/demolition worksites.

  • Traffic control devices, signals, and message boards instruct drivers to follow paths away from where work is being done.

  • Approved traffic control devices, including cones, barrels, barricades, and delineator posts are also used inside work zones.

Work Zone Protections: Various concrete, water, sand, collapsible barriers, crash cushions, and truck-mounted attenuators can help limit motorist intrusions into construction work zones.

Flagging: Flaggers should wear high visibility clothing with a fluorescent background and made of retroreflective material. This makes employees visible for at least 1,000 feet in any direction. Check the label or packaging to ensure that the garments are performance class 2 or 3. Drivers should be warned with signs that there will be flaggers ahead. Flaggers should use STOP/SLOW paddles, paddles with lights, or flags (only in emergencies).

Lighting: Flagger stations should be illuminated. Lighting for employees on foot and for equipment operators should be at least 5 foot-candles or greater. Where available lighting is not sufficient, flares or chemical lighting should be used. Glare should be controlled or eliminated.

Training: Flaggers must be trained/certified and use authorized signaling methods.

Driving: Seat belts and rollover protection should be used on equipment and vehicles as the manufacturer recommends.