Stay Safe on the Job: Working in Heavy Traffic
Everyone seems to be in a rush these days, which we can clearly see on the roads around us. Heavy traffic poses plenty of risks, especially to people who work on roadsides. Keeping job sites free and clear of motorized traffic is not always possible, which can pose a real threat to those working on repairing roads, sewer lines, bridges, power lines, and many others where the job at hand is being done in the vicinity of heavy and potentially hazardous traffic. The dangers of these types of jobs are much more dangerous when it involves working near moving vehicles.
Responsible companies should offer safety training to all of their employees who work in potentially dangerous situations like these so they know what to do and what to wear in order to keep themselves and their co-worker's safe while on the job. In order to significantly lower the odds of injury or death while working near traffic, the following pointers should be practiced.
Stay Aware of Your Surroundings
It’s critical to always know what is around you at all times. Be aware of which direction traffic is flowing in, and how much space you have between yourself and the road. Keep in mind that larger vehicles require more space compared to smaller vehicles, and make sure the right barriers are being used.
Always make sure that you are wearing the appropriate ANSI compliant hi-visibility clothing, such as an ANSI safety vest or T-shirt. Breakaway safety vests are particularly useful in that they use Velcro-style breakaway points that will rip apart with enough force very easily. If the breakaway vest is caught on a passing car, the apparel will separate rather than drag you along with the vehicle. Wearing as many reflective garments as possible is critical to making sure all passing motorists can clearly see you.
Expect the Unexpected
Many times you will only have so much control over your safety. There’s only so much you can do. A lot of your safety relies on the passing motorists which is why work zones have reduced speed limits in order to lower the chances of accidents. Drivers who might not be paying attention could head in your direction without realizing it, or may not be able to see you clearly because of low visibility caused by night time conditions or bad weather.
Do whatever is in your power to stay safe on the job, and never forget to wear your reflective safe apparel.