Blog Introduction: We all know road construction can be a pain. The lane closures, the detours, the never-ending noise. But have you ever stopped to think about how those crews manage to rip up an old roadway and create a brand new one without putting themselves or the motoring public in danger? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the steps road construction crews take to ensure a safe work zone.
Work Zone Set-Up
One of the first things you’ll notice when approaching a work zone is the series of cones, barrels, and signs that have been set up. This is called traffic control, and it is part of the work zone equipment commonly used in the industry. Its purpose is to alert drivers of the upcoming work zone and direct them through it safely.
Traffic control devices are placed according to a strict set of guidelines set forth by the Federal Highway Administration. For example, barrels are typically spaced at 10-foot intervals, and signing is placed well in advance of the actual work zone. By following these guidelines, road construction crews can help motorists slow down and pay attention as they approach the work zone.
Personal Protective Equipment
Another safety measure you’ll see road construction workers taking is wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes items like hard hats, safety vests, work gloves, safety glasses, and earplugs or earmuffs. Wearing PPE protects workers from being hit by flying debris or injured by loud noises.
In some cases, workers may also need to wear respirators if they’re working with materials that could cause lung irritation or other health problems. If you see workers wearing respirators, it’s important not to honk or rev your engine, as this could startle them and cause an accident.
Another common sight in work zones is flaggers. Flaggers are specially trained individuals who are responsible for directing traffic through the work zone using hand signals or flags. They play a vital role in keeping both motorists and workers safe by making sure only authorized vehicles are entering the work zone and that vehicles are only moving when it’s safe to do so.
As annoying as they may be, road construction crews provide an essential service—building and maintaining our nation’s highways. By following strict safety protocols and using proper traffic control measures and personal protective equipment, they’re able to do their jobs safely day in and day out. So next time you’re cursing a crew for slowing you down, remember that they’re just trying to do their job safely!