Working In Traffic: Do You Know the Dangers? (Part 1 of 2)

Working in traffic is a dangerous job, and it is easy for workers and drivers to become confused and frustrated as they navigate through construction zones. In this two-part blog series, I share ways to prevent, or even eliminate, work zone injuries and fatalities with a strong focus on safety.

Summer is great! Warm weather, the smell of food cooking on the grill, the sound of kids outside enjoying the day with their friends, and, of course, the best sight of all: orange barrels.

Yes, road construction can be frustrating, especially when you are not expecting it. But keep in mind that it is also frustrating for those who are building the roads and bridges that we depend on. And not only that – it is also very dangerous. There were 609 fatalities in construction and maintenance work zones in 2012.

Temporary traffic control devices (TTCDs), like orange barrels, cones, barricades and signs, may not be your favorite summer sight, but they’re an important indication of a work zone. Drivers need to use extra caution as they approach these zones, and employers need to take the proper safety measures to keep employees safe in these areas.

How do you prepare for the unique dangers of working in traffic?

1. Assess the Hazards. Workers and motorists face different dangers. Workers can be struck by a vehicle or construction equipment, fall and/or encounter frustrated, speeding motorists. Motorists deal with entering buffer or work space as TTCDs are set up or removed, merging due to lane closures, and/or traffic congestion. Determine the risks at your worksite.

2. Select Proper Controls. There are a number of important precautions to prevent work zone injuries. Consider how the following controls may apply to the hazards at your worksite and keep your employees safe:

  • TTCDs
  • High-visibility garments
  • Work from a platform
  • Maintain visual and/or audio communication
  • Develop a procedure for motorist interactions
  • Training and documentation

Check back next week, when I dive into details for these six important safety precautions.

For more information on keeping your employees safe while working in traffic:

Latest Articles

Resolving Conflict in the Workplace Amicably

On average, 85% of employees will experience conflict in the workplace (Essential Workplace...

The Benefits of Active Listening in the Workplace

When people on a team struggle to listen to each other,...

Can You Use FMLA for Mental Health?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees qualified workers the right to unpaid leave for...

Why Remote Teams Need Inclusive Workplace Practices

For most businesses, remote work is now a way of life in some capacity. Advances in technology and...

How to Motivate Employees as a Manager During Uncertain Times

As a manager in the restaurant industry, it can be challenging to motivate your employees during...

3 Reasons Why Authenticity in the Workplace Matters

Regardless of industry, a business is only as strong as its employees. Even the best products,...

Top Advice For Graduates Trying to Start a Career

As of 2020, there is an average of over 4 million students who have graduated from colleges in the...

7 TIPS TO HELP PREVENT PIPE BURSTING THIS WINTER

Originally published January 29, 2019, updated January 18, 2023. Many parts of the country are no...

A Guide to Safe Keg Handling

At one time or another, almost everyone who works in the restaurant and bar industry has been...

2022 Year in Review

Society Insurance is committed to providing blog posts to help business owners optimize daily...

Stay up to date with industry updates by subscribing to the Society Insurance blog!