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Minimization of safety-critical issues at road construction sites

Road construction workers face several dangers on each shift. Not only are they working around heavy machinery, but they also have motor vehicles speeding past them throughout their work time. Constant vigilance is necessary since an accident can occur at any time.

Because the hazards are so significant, employers in this industry must have safety plans that put the workers first while balancing out the need to keep traffic flowing. The protocol should cover every aspect of safety, even the most straightforward rules.

Safety equipment requirements

All road construction workers must have proper safety equipment. At a minimum, this includes a hardhat, a bright safety vest and steel-toe shoes. Other items like goggles or safety glasses and hearing protection may be necessary for some tasks on the road. No worker should be allowed on the job site unless they have the proper safety equipment, so periodic retraining might be needed.

Traffic control methods

Being struck by a vehicle is one of the most severe risks for road construction workers. Traffic control methods are one of the only options for minimizing this danger. All cones, barrels and other options used must comply with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, published by the Federal Highway Administration. Positioning them correctly is also imperative since improper placement can lead to safety-critical incidents. Lowered speed limits are necessary since higher speeds are associated with worse injuries.

Training for heavy equipment

Working around heavy equipment comes with specific risks. Road construction doesn't provide a fully controlled environment for these tasks. Anyone who operates heavy machinery at the job site must receive proper training. Using spotters to ensure the path is clear for the task and having employees wear their safety vests can also help to prevent accidents. Compartmentalizing the work areas on the job site may contribute to improved safety since it controls how many pieces of machinery are present in one space.

Safety orientation and shift meetings

The onus for worker safety rests solely on the employer. New employees need to go through a safety orientation but periodic reminders must be a priority. Ideally, supervisors will hold a safety meeting at the start of each shift. If an incident does occur, a review should take place immediately after the injured worker is taken care of. Continuing education is always beneficial for workers in this industry.

Any road construction worker who suffers a work-related injury needs to receive a medical evaluation and any treatment deemed necessary. Workers' compensation provides coverage for this care, and workers might be eligible for other benefits based on their circumstances.

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