Almost half of the most dangerous jobs in America are in the construction industry.
Notably, working in construction zones is more riskier due to the presence of motorized traffic. This is why having a traffic management plan in road construction sites is both necessary and essential.
Further, traffic controllers in work zones are encouraged to take a traffic controller course to manage traffic effectively.
Some of the key safety items covered in a basic work zone traffic controller course include:
· Importance of temporary traffic control (TTC) in work zones
· Setting up traffic control zones
· Traffic control devices to use in traffic control zones
· The importance of using Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in traffic zones
· How to develop and implement a traffic management plan
· How to minimize risks to workers, pedestrians, motorists in a traffic control zone
Having such knowledge enables construction traffic management personnel to enhance workers’ safety and control traffic promptly.
Other reasons why traffic management is essential in a construction work zone include:
1. Minimize Traffic Delays
When work zones aren’t adequately managed, they can create lengthy traffic queues. Motorists can get stuck in traffic jams for hours, leading to frustration and delays.
To minimize traffic congestion in work zones, traffic management is necessary.
Traffic control devices such as traffic signs, message boards, and signals provide direction to motorists and pedestrians, allowing them to avoid construction work areas.
The use of a work zone traffic management plan also helps construction workers assess how traffic will be affected by the work zone and develop ways to mitigate traffic delays. The plan also helps to keep traffic moving despite the disruptions caused by road work construction.
2. Minimize Accidents
According to NHTSA, an estimated 38,900 injuries and 115 000 crashes occurred in work zones in 2019. Past data also reveals that traffic crashes in work zones often occur where pedestrians and vehicles intersect, such as site entries and exit areas.
As a construction firm, you have an obligation to ensure the safety of your workers and the motorists and pedestrians passing through your work site. Besides, effective traffic management enables you to comply with construction workers’ health and safety regulations. Also, having someone to guide traffic during work zone disruptions will enhance the safety of road users.
Traffic management is not only necessary to keep motorists and pedestrians safe, but it also minimizes accidents among your employees. For instance, flaggers are often at risk of being injured in case of high-speed traffic. The use of PPEs and high visibility clothing during traffic management can keep flaggers safe, while signs can warn drivers of the presence of flaggers on the site.
3. Fast Completion of Construction Work
Traffic management creates a safe environment that allows construction workers to focus on their job.
When there is effective traffic control, construction workers don’t have to worry about potential accidents. Besides, injuries at the worksite are minimized, and productivity is enhanced.
The construction crew will finish the project quickly, which will be impossible if they are busy dealing with pedestrians and motorists who are interfering with their work.
4. Alert Road Users
An effective traffic management plan warns road users of ongoing construction work. For instance, drivers are informed where to slow down, where the road gets narrower and where the lanes merge. Pedestrians are also warned of restricted zones and pedestrian exclusion areas.
Such warnings enable road users to pay closer attention to the changes on the road and be more alert when accessing the work zone.
In closing, managing traffic in a construction work zone is essential as it minimizes safety risks and hazards. Effective traffic management also eliminates traffic delays in work zones, reduces the occurrences of accidents, alerts road users of road disruptions, and allows construction workers to finish their work on time.