The construction industry is inherently dangerous, and road work zones come with a unique set of risks.
In Part 1 of this four-part article, we went over some safety statistics and discussed the importance of safety planning. In Part 2, we gave a few tips regarding visibility and nighttime safety considerations. Today in Part 3, our Lakeland construction attorneys will discuss weather, work area organization, and personal protective equipment (PPE). Part 4 will conclude the series.
Take Weather into Account
Some of the specific dangers associated with highway construction zones have to do with the weather. If you live in an area with a cold winter, snow, or freezing rain can make driving conditions worse and cause roads to ice over.
A Lakeland construction attorney may not frequently encounter cases involving automobile accidents due to below-freezing weather, but we are still well aware of the dangers that these conditions produce.
Here in Florida, we may not have much of a winter, but there are other dangers that come with warmer weather. When it’s beautiful outside, people are more likely to travel, both by car and on foot. Our aptly named Sunshine State has a lot of tourism and this can impact traffic flow significantly, depending on your highway construction zone’s location. Heavy traffic, stressed or lost drivers, and throngs of pedestrians can negatively affect the safety of your road work zone.
Specify Separate Work Areas
Organization is a critical aspect of construction zone safety. Delineating which areas of the jobsite serve what purpose can both prevent accidents and increase productivity.
The following areas should be designated and easy to identify:
- Areas in which heavy machinery is being operated
- Safe areas for workers on foot
- Storage space for materials
- Vehicle parking
Barriers, barrels, or traffic cones can be used to designate the different parts of the construction zone.
Personal Protective Equipment
Wearing the right PPE is of utmost importance when it comes to safety. PPE includes items such as the following:
- Hard hats
- Hearing protection (depending on the noise levels)
- Highly visible (hi vis) clothing
- Steel-toed boots
Appropriate safety equipment should be worn at all times; all PPE should meet or exceed the standards developed by the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI). All hi vis clothing should be bright fluorescent orange, yellow or lime with visible reflective material. It should meet ANSI Class 2 or 3 standards.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.