- Performance Class 3 Apparel — Workers must wear high-visibility reflective safety apparel, which most commonly includes a vest and trousers. This makes workers easier to see when drivers approach the construction zone.
- Beacon Lights — These high-beam lights attach to construction zone signage and capture the attention of drivers, alerting them that they are approaching a work zone and should proceed with increased caution.
- Reflectivity of devices — All traffic control equipment, including cones, drums and signs must use highly-reflective lights during nighttime work, alerting everyone on the road that they are approaching a construction zone.
- Proper warning sign placement — This is critical to the safety of workers and drivers. If the traffic control team is not familiar with the area, scout it in advance to anticipate any challenges this work zone may involve, preferably at the same time and on the same day of the week as the work will be taking place. Observe what the average speeds are of drivers in the area and also take note if the road is curvy or particularly rough.
- Truck Mounted Attenuators (TMAs) — Also known as “crash trucks.” These energy-absorbing devices are attached to the rear of trucks, acting as a barrier between workers and traffic. Drivers who lose control of their vehicles will first hit the TMA, which will fold and therefore absorb the impact while protecting the driver.
- Trained and experienced workers — The American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) has an extensive certification process for supervisors of highway work zones. These supervisors must be well-versed in working in high-speed conditions, and their team must also have extensive experience working in a variety of conditions. At TMI, we offer this training as well, and recommend that the traffic control team have at least five years of experience in order to work on a nighttime project.
The right apparel and equipment are helpful in making a work zone safer, but the level of safety in a work zone depends most heavily on the people involved in the project and working on the job site every day.
Planning ahead for lane closures that will result from a construction project will ensure that the project team is more prepared to practice safety on the jobsite and appropriately handle any challenges that arise.
Jonathan Spano is COO for Traffic Management Inc. (TMI), located in Long Beach, CA. Learn more about TMI at trafficmanagement.com