Oct 29, 2018
Improve Flagger Safety on National Traffic Directors’ Day
November 2 is National Traffic Directors’ Day, a day to thank anyone and everyone who makes our morning commute a bit better.
Although that includes all of us in the asphalt industry, whose main job is to improve America’s transportation network, perhaps those of us in most direct contact with the traveling public are our flaggers.
Here are a few ways to keep him or her safe while we make America’s roads better:
1. Encourage the flagger–as well as everyone else on the crew–to wear as much reflective clothing as possible.
Every bit of safety yellow, safety orange, safety green, reflective tape and bright white outlining a worker’s presence is an extra bit that can catch a passing motorist’s eye. The crews of Brannan Sand and Gravel in Denver take that “extra bit” seriously, and management requires roadway workers to wear a simple garment called the Safety Gator—or mesh shin reflector. Read more about that here:
2. Equip them with halos for night paving jobs.
ILLUMAGEAR’s Halo Light is a personal active safety system that produces a ring of light around the wearer, allowing him to see and be seen in all directions, at all times, without requiring their hands to operate. Read all about it here:
3. Use technology to alert crew of collision risks.
After experiencing a handful of fatalities in 2013 and 2014, Oldcastle Materials–the largest asphalt manufacturer in North America–started to develop its AWARE system. The system, which stands for Advanced Warning And Risk Evasion, tracks traffic and crew members within a work zone and sounds alarms and alerts both to drivers and to workers at risk of a collision. Read all about it here:
4. Use technology to keep the traveling public more aware and alert.
Reith-Riley implemented a real-time message board to inform the traveling public of traffic issues on a recent 73-mile-long reconstruction project on the Indiana Toll Road. The system relies on smart construction safety cones, known as iCones, which monitor the speed and number of passing vehicles to determine real-time traffic conditions and then transmit this information to the two message boards. Read all about it here:
5. Follow best practices, regardless of the traffic flow.
Even when traffic volume is low, as it often is on rural roadways, that doesn’t mean flaggers are any safer than they would be alongside a high-speed, high volume roadway. In fact, rural roads present other safety challenges, including hills, curves, vegetation, and the potential for harvest operations overlapping with road work. Read about how flaggers can stay safe during paving operations on low volume roads:
These are only a handful of ideas to help flaggers stay safe on our job sites. Visit our Facebook page to share your own ideas for improved flagger safety!