April 2024 Safety Bulletin - National Work Zone Awareness Week

Last week we shared tips every day of National Work Zone Awareness Week to bring attention to injuries and safety precautions around work zones employers should know. Protect your employees in work zones by reading the tips below.

Follow the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), 11th edition, effective January 18, 2024.

The Federal Highway Association hosted two webinars on the latest edition release, view them here.

Work zones can be made safer by:

  • Using surveillance cameras that are positioned to be visible to motorists, deterring unsafe conduct, and monitoring traffic
  • Properly setting up and continuously monitoring the work zone
  • Alerting motorists with plenty of advance notice and highly visible signage upon entry into the work zone
  • Providing flaggers with proper warning devices to alert workers of dangerous vehicles or conditions
  • Delineating the area of termination of the work zone for motorists

Flagger Safety, including proper personal protective equipment (PPE), communication skills, and where to position yourself for optimum effectiveness and safety.

  • Flaggers should wear PPE that meets ANSI/ISEA 107-2004 Performance II Class standards, comfortable footwear, and hard hats. Also use good footwear, alert systems, comfortable 24-inch paddle or flag equipment, and hard hats. Have hearing protection if sound levels are extreme, and eye protection should there be projectiles like flying debris or dust.
  • Flaggers should wear PPE that meets ANSI/ISEA 107-2004 Performance II Class standards, comfortable footwear, and hard hats. Additionally, use alert systems, comfortable 24-inch paddle or flag equipment, hearing protection if sound levels are extreme, and eye protection should there be projectiles like flying debris or dust.
  • Nighttime flagging requires further measures including external and hard hat illumination and a red wand flashlight.
  • A spotter may be necessary to warn workers of errant vehicles and danger from traffic. They may also assist those driving work vehicles in entering and leaving worksites or performing U-turns.
  • Consider de-escalation training for dealing with unpleasant public drivers. Employees assigned to flagging duties should be good communicators and signal the correct procedures for navigating a work zone to drivers. When drivers become agitated during the stop, flaggers can briefly inform them of the process, appreciate their patience, and guide them safely on their journey. These skills will help flaggers reduce the likelihood of road rage.
  • The flagger should either stand on the shoulder adjacent to the road user being directed or in the closed lane before stopping road users. A flagger should only stand in the lane being used by moving road users after they have stopped.

Learn about AT-BAT, following the MUTCD, to set up the work zone with easy-to-view references.

Approach

Transition

Buffer Zone

Activity Zone

Termination

Protecting employees from work zone injuries

The Comp Alliance does not experience many work zone injuries, partially due to safety resources like this that inform Highway and DPW staff of safeguards. However, today we are sharing two incidents involving highway employees: a NYS fatality from 2022 when a worker was struck by a vehicle, and a road rage incident from Maine. Please review and consider these worst-case scenarios for employees in work zones.

NYS Highway Fatality Article

Road Rage Video (Caution, inappropriate language)

Staying cool to prevent heat-related illnesses

Heat Stress > Heat Exhaustion > Heat Stroke

Events & Trainings

  • Virtual Training Seminar: Mandatory Topics See Event
  • Virtual Training Seminar: Mandatory Topics See Event
  • Virtual Training Seminar: Mandatory Topics See Event

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