Glare is also influenced by the angle of the light. Since terrain, obstacles, etc. can affect lighting, experiment with different angles to avoid aiming it into oncoming traffic or workers' line of sight. "You can blind motorists and they won't be able to see you, or see where to follow the traffic pattern," Warner says.
Also consider the reflective properties of the surfaces within the work area. "Wet asphalt will diffuse light differently than dry asphalt," Warner explains. "You will also want to consider glare coming from mirrors, vehicles, etc."
Manufacturers offer glare shields to help focus the light. Balloon lights, which provide glare-free lighting, are also an option. They are even being required by some state DOTs for certain jobs. These lights are flexible and highly portable, making them well suited for stationary lighting or mounting on equipment such as pavers. However, they do require a generator or other power source.
While balloon lights are becoming very popular, diesel-powered light towers are still the mainstay in the industry.
"They've been around for a long time and they're extremely versatile and mobile," says Warner. "Since they have their own engine, they're completely self contained. Plus, they can typically run for a long time unassisted. You can park them and they can run over a weekend to provide long-term light. If you select the right light, it won't add to the danger on a jobsite."
Prepare for Roadside Safety
The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) have outlined guidelines for several aspects of safe roadway construction zones, as well as some of the methods used to achieve it. They include high-visibility apparel; worker training; activity area planning; speed control; positive separation from traffic; lighting; worker safety planning; and special devices (rumble strips, etc.).
The FHA's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices is also a resource for defining the standards for installing and maintaining traffic control devices on streets and highways to create proper warning, transition, buffer and termination zones. "When a motorist is traveling at 60 mph, he or she only has a second or two to recognize and react to roadway construction work zones," says Paul Satti, technical director, Construction Safety Council. "It's important that the contractor use standardized signs, markings and symbols to send a clear, positive message to motorists to get and command the respect of road users."
To maximize roadway construction zone safety, OSHA 1926.32 standards, paragraph F indicates that a competent person must be assigned who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards, and surroundings or working conditions that are unsanitary, hazardous or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.
"Basically, he or she is the person who leads and manages work for that site," Satti says. "And most importantly, that person has to have the authority to take action. For example, if someone comes on the site without the appropriate garment, that person has the authorization to remove them."