Key measures to safeguard your team on road projects

Gina Theron   |   December 8, 2015

Protecting your workers on road projects will require a detailed assessment and thorough training. When coordinating a range of tasks and individuals, safety can be overlooked with procedures ignored and short cuts taken. This has lead to injury and even death for road workers. With the correct policies and action plan in place, this could easily be avoided. However, there are many aspects to manage and include in your safety plan, so we've made a list of the few standout techniques. 

Don't forget about the motorists

795421-traffic-control-man.jpgCommon factors that are believed to contribute to work zone accidents involving motorists include: 

  1. Motorist didn't notice work zone
  2. Motorist didn't know what to do 
  3. Motorist didn't know where to go 
  4. Motorist didn't have time to react
  5. A worker or equipment was in the traffic lane 

Be aware of these five contributing factors and prepare for contingencies to reduce the incident rate on your road project.  

Protect your workers

A lot of thought and planning goes into preventing incidents involving motorists and workers, but there are many other factors to consider when protecting your workers which may involve plant and equipment and other activities conducted within the work zone.

To prevent onsite incidents ensure:

  1. All vehicles and mobile equipment are fitted with back-up/travel alarms 
  2. Cab glass on all vehicles are well-maintained and undamaged 
  3. All operators are wearing seat belts 
  4. You train all workers onsite to be aware of vehicles and mobile equipment and are aware of blind spots and how to communicate with operators 
  5. Vehicles are fitted with cameras to manage blind spots 
  6. Intrusion alarms are introduced, giving workers clear warning 
  7. Traffic control devices are being used

Modification Factor MOD-RATE_MOD.jpg

The modification factor is the factor by which a standard workers compensation premium is multiplied in order to determine whether they'll receive a surcharge or discount on their premium. Employee injuries can impact a business' modification factor and stays in an insurance company's record for a minimum of five years, resulting in an increase to insurance premiums. This will effect workers compensation costs as well as effect your ability to bid on work. 

Always remember F.A.D.S

This is a good guide when setting up roadworks, there are many aspects to consider but if these four areas are addressed you'll improve your chances of maintaining a safe work site.  

Flow: Affect the flow of traffic as little as practicable 

Attention: Get the attention of motorists quickly and effectively 

Direction: Provide clear direction to the motorists to guide them through and around the work zone

Separation: Whenever possible, separate hard (vehicles and equipment) from soft (personnel), using barriers or road way closures

Being aware of the factors influencing the safety of your road and highway workers is important. These can have a direct impact on their well-being, your business' performance and the financial position of both your workers and your business. Prevention is key and with the use of an effective safety plan you'll be able to increase the control you have over onsite safety. We have created a risk assessment checklist to help you implement an effective safety plan. 

Gina Theron
Gina is a Marketing Coordinator at Felix. She is a business and engineering student, and relishes working for one of Australia's greatest mining and construction disrupters. Harsh critic of tomatoes and spiders that surprise her.

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