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If you think about construction site health and safety, you may innocently skip over traffic control. While slips, falls, hazardous materials and mishandling all cause serious harm, the consequence of poor traffic control can be equally as severe.
Construction traffic control is necessary for any construction project, be it new housing, commercial buildings or city infrastructure. It’s not only needed to protect the workers on site but also passing drivers and pedestrians can safety travel through disrupted areas.
Traffic control for construction sites is important for three main reasons:
According to the US Bureau of Labor, traffic accidents are the leading cause of fatal occupational injuries. While traffic accident can occur in any industry, there is of course particular risk in construction. At the same time, over 20,000 workers are injured in the highway construction industry alone, according to OSHA.
Effective traffic control means reducing risk, which can either be by eliminating hazards or increasing awareness. Site entry and exit points, as well as adjacent roads and walkways, are high-risk zones. By placing traffic control personnel in these dangerous areas, safety can be enforced and risk is thus reduced.
When situational hazards cannot be removed, such as large obstructions, scaffolding and barriers that obscure sightlines, a traffic control officers can ensure the safety of both vehicles and pedestrians.
While construction signs regarding precautions, dangers and hazards are found everywhere, traffic signs, which includes site directions, aren’t always as present.
One of the first concerns for a traffic control contractor entering a new site is signage. Aside from marking out routes, it applies to numerous things from pedestrian exclusion zones to speed limits.
When there is no clear indication of travel paths on site, you are inviting unnecessary accidents. Likewise, if the time isn’t taken to erect barriers and visual warnings, you’re needlessly increasing liability.
A comprehensive traffic management plan contains risk assessments, staffing and equipment outlines and operational guidelines. However, things don’t always go to plan.
When traffic unexpectedly builds up in a single area, or drivers become increasingly agitated by inconsistent routes and access points, it takes an expert traffic control officer to recognize problems and adapt to these changing situation.
Having capable traffic control personnel that respond to new hazards as they arise will make all the difference between a smooth day at work and a major accident.
Experienced traffic management officers literally save lives, which relates to major construction projects as well as smaller residential builds. Expert traffic control is as much about safety as it is efficient. Sites with minimal hazards will still benefit from the careful traffic control considerations.
Proper traffic control results in fewer injuries, less overall disruption and a generally smoother time on site.
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