It’s not uncommon for people to underestimate exactly how dangerous it is to do any sort of traffic control. In fact, most people don’t even think too much about it. The average person drives through construction zones and takes for granted the fact that there are people working on an active construction site.
That’s why today we’re going to be looking at a few of the dangers that come with traffic control. Whether it’s traffic control San Antonio or anywhere else in the great state of Texas, understanding how to be sure that you’re genuinely appreciating the care that goes into the safety of the workers is important.
With any luck, you’ll gain a new appreciation for the dangers that road workers face on a daily basis at their jobs while they’re working to create better road conditions for every Texan all over the state.
The Basics of Safety in a Traffic Control Zone
Chances are, even if you’ve never worked in traffic control or any sort of road work before, you know the basics. The premise behind it is simple: There needs to be a way for construction workers and other people who need access to roads without cars getting into their workplace.
That’s why there are always signs up telling drivers what they can do when going through these areas safely so no one gets hurt in an accident during this process. However, just because someone may not hit you with their car doesn’t mean that there isn’t danger present at all times while working as part of a traffic control team.
For instance, you might have to worry about pedestrians, rubble, mechanical malfunctions, and the list goes on. Safety should always be priority numbers 1 and 2 for anyone working on or near a roadway. To that end, here are the top 5 safety tips for traffic control:
1. Always be Aware of your Surroundings.
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s important to really take in everything that’s happening around you at all times. Not only do you need to be aware of oncoming traffic, but also any pedestrians who may be walking through the area, as well as any potential obstacles in your path.
2. Wear the Proper Safety gear.
This one is also pretty self-explanatory, but it’s so important that we’ll say it anyway: always wear reflective gear when working near roads, and make sure that your clothing is not too loose-fitting so that it doesn’t get caught on anything. You should also have closed-toed shoes, preferably with steel toes, in case something falls and hits your feet.
3. Use Caution When using Machinery.
If you’re operating any sort of equipment or machinery as part of your job (such as a stop/slow sign), always be extra careful and follow all manufacturers’ guidelines as well as any guidelines set forth by the relevant governing bodies to avoid accidents.
4. Be Cautious when Dealing with Pedestrians.
Pedestrians have the right of way in construction zones, so always give them plenty of time and space to walk through before continuing on with whatever task you’re working on. If possible, try to make eye contact with them so they know you see them and aren’t surprised by your actions.
5. Follow all traffic laws Yourself.
This one probably goes without saying, but as someone who is responsible for controlling traffic, you need to set a good example by following all laws yourself. Not only will this help keep everyone safe, but it will also show drivers and pedestrians alike that you’re taking the situation seriously, which can inspire them to be safer themselves.
The Biggest Dangers for Traffic Control Zones
There are a lot of dangers in a traffic control zone that you might not think about. Here are a few of the obvious ones, such as people driving too quickly through them without paying attention, but a lot of other things can go wrong as well.
Let’s take a look at a few of the biggest things that you have to worry about, here are a few of the main dangers in traffic control zones and how you can avoid them.
Trenches pose a big hazard in traffic control zones since workers will be digging into the ground to install new pipes or do other work. If these trenches aren’t properly marked, then people driving through the zone may not see them until it’s too late and they could run into one of these holes.
This could cause serious damage to their vehicle, hurt someone inside of it, or even kill someone if the trench is deep enough and filled with water from an underground pipe that breaks when hit by a car. Here are a few ways to avoid that:
- Make sure your team marks all trenches very clearly market so that everyone knows where they are located at all times.
- Ensure that potential dangers are lit at night time, especially if you’re working on a dark rural road.
- Cover the trenches with metal plates when they’re not being worked on to further reduce the risks.
Poorly Placed Cones And Other Road Signs
Another danger in traffic control zones is poor road sign placement or poorly placed cones that block off certain areas within the zone itself rather than around its perimeter only as intended.
These cones might get moved around during construction because workers need access to different areas or something else happens on-site like heavy equipment getting stuck somewhere and having to back up out again while using whatever area was near its original location before moving backward (or forwards) out again after getting unstuck without being able to get back over completely – hence why there’s often two sets of tire tracks blocking off part of a traffic control zone (where some tires were driven over on top of others).
If your team doesn’t take care when placing these signs or cone markers though, then people might end up driving right through areas where things are being worked on which puts both employees working there as well as passersby who don’t know anything about what’s going on there at risk for injury because neither group would be expecting anyone driving through this area due to improper road signs warning against doing so!
Here are a few ways to ensure that you’re doing this as safely as possible:
- Keep track of every cone marker used within each sectioned-off area
- Have someone walk around periodically in order to make sure that nothing is out of place.
- Double-check that all relevant signs are in place.
- Perform regular walk-throughs to make sure that a random pedestrian would fully understand what’s going on.
Safety is always important for these kinds of ventures, and being completely sure that your work site is as safe as possible can ensure that everything will go off without a hitch, and following the right protocols can help this even more.
Injuries can result in expensive and lengthy lawsuits that really only slow down the entire process, so being completely sure that injuries are as unlikely as possible will help you, your team, and your clients out immensely in the long run.
Safety is a Team Sport
You rarely work without the support of a team, no matter what your job is. Lawyers have their teams in their offices, dentists have teams, libraries have teams, your favorite restaurant has a team, and even people that work from home have teams, whether or not they actually communicate.
Every single product that you see out in the world is the result of countless hours of teamwork, whether that’s the newest Apple iPhone or a jar of applesauce. Teamwork, clearly, is something that’s incredibly important for every single aspect of our daily lives.
Well, safety is no exception to this. Safety is a team sport, and making sure that everyone on your team is being as safe as possible will help ensure that there are as few accidents as possible. Whether that means making sure Elijah isn’t leaving tools in the wrong places, checking that George put up the right signs, or double-checking that Jack actually rolled up the hoses he was using.
Everyone has to be accountable for the safest possible workplace. You’re only as strong as your weakest link, so keeping everyone’s mind on safety can make your entire worksite that much safer for anyone that might happen to wander through.
Learning About Traffic Control Safety
Whether you work for a construction company or not, knowing how to safely interact with traffic control zones is something that’s important. Many construction workers die or are severely injured due to carelessness, and nobody wants that to happen.
Understanding exactly how to navigate these zones no matter what your role might be while passing through them can help keep yourself and the construction workers safe while also expediting the completion of the road work so you can go back to business as usual as quickly as possible.