When you manage a construction crew, safety should be one of your top priorities. Safety for the workers, safety for any people passing by, safety for vehicles in the area, and safety for the property on which you are working. There are many different types of work zone equipment that can help you maintain a high standard of safety. Here are just a few items you want to be sure to always have on every job site.
Personal Protective Gear
Every worker should have the proper gear to remain safe while working. However, there may be times when someone forgets something or a piece of gear has been damaged. While you cannot be expected to have boots or jackets available in all the different sizes, there are items you should keep in the truck. Be sure to carry a few extra helmets, pairs of gloves, and goggles with you. In addition, have a couple of reflective vests and headlamps accessible to anyone who needs them. Don't forget to have extra ear protection around if there will be a lot of loud noise on the construction site. Finally, if any type of dust or chemicals will be blowing around, make sure everyone has adequate respiratory gear and you have extra filters available.
Having the proper signage to warn people about what is going on in the area is important. It is not enough to use "No Trespassing" signs. There should be signs on every side and corner of the construction site stating that construction is ongoing and heavy equipment is in use. It is also a good idea to post signs with a restricted speed limit for all traffic. Make sure the signs are visible at all times with reflective paint or lighted signs. Make sure the signs are moved as each area of the site is finished.
You need to keep people away from the work site or anywhere debris from the site may fall. You can put large orange barrels in the street to steer traffic the way you want it to go. If the construction is going to take a while, you may want to use cement barricades instead as the barrels can be easily pushed or moved around. Make sure to use some type of reflective tape or paint on the cement barriers so people see them before they reach them.
It is also important to enclose the site in some type of fencing if the road itself is not included in the work site. A good fence will not only keep people from entering the area, but it can also stop construction debris from blowing off of the site and harming someone. When you will be working up high, it is a good idea to have some type of netting around the building to catch things that may fall.
There will be times when the crew is working during dusk or even in the dark at night. Proper lighting will ensure the workers can properly see what they are working on, where they are going, and any obstructions in the way. Lighting is also required around the site to let people know there is work being done and to stay away from it. When you need to steer traffic away from the area, lighting helps drivers see any cones, barrels, or other barricades so they don't crash into them.
Having part of the crew stay outside the perimeter of the construction site and control pedestrians and traffic is a big help in preventing crashes and injuries. This is especially important when you must restrict traffic to one lane. The flaggers will work together, allowing one row of traffic to go through and then stopping that side to allow the other side to move. The flaggers need to wear reflective clothing and have brightly colored paddles to direct the traffic. To protect the flaggers, be sure to have signs placed well in advance of the site letting people know to slow down and expect workers in the road.
Injuries and damage on a construction site not only cost the company money in medical bills and repairs, but they will also often slow down the work. When projects are not completed on time, other jobs get delayed and your bottom line is affected. Instead of spending the money due to loss or injury, spend it on the proper work zone equipment. Contact companies like Stripes & Stops Company, Inc., for more information about work zone equipment.