Is Your Workzone Safe?

April 13, 2017

Springtime brings many changes, including construction season kicking into high gear.  While construction season helps our public infrastructure, it can introduce temporary conditions that are unexpected and potentially dangerous. In a 2014 survey conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), it concluded that in the year previous, 45% of highway contractors had vehicles crash into a work zone, resulting in 31,251 injuries and 669 fatalities. Howard Stein Hudson has identified three important items to look for to create a safe work zone for public and worker safety.

Proper Barrier Usage and Positive Protection

Concrete barriers absorb the energy of a moving vehicle in order to redirect, slow, or stop the vehicle in motion. If applicable to your next construction project, think about using concrete barriers instead of drums, cones, and water-filled barriers.

Advanced Warning Signage

It is critical that your project communicate construction-related information to drivers.  Adequate signage or variable message boards provide drivers with timely information to allow drivers to understand a changed roadway condition,and to react to that condition safely and appropriately. It is imperative that appropriate signageand messaging is part of your workzone set-up.

Proper Nighttime Workzone Lighting

Nighttime work is very common, especially on highways. However, night work can present increased safety concerns if the correct devices and signage are not implemented. With 35% of the fatal crashes in 2014 occurring at night, it is critical that temporary traffic control plans are followed. One of the most important items in night work is lighting.  Often, portable lights are not set at the correct angle and can cause glare issues for drivers,or the light levels are too great or insufficient.

Keep these three ideas in mind when staging your next workzone – and keep it safe!

For more information, please contact Robbie Burgess, P.E., PTOE.



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