Roadside construction and utilities maintenance work is dangerous. In 2018, 755 road construction workers were killed in their work zones according to statistics from National Work Zone Safety.
Some of the notable hazards that these workers face daily include oncoming vehicles, slick or slippery roads, and mobile work equipment.
If you’re considering a career in road works or traffic maintenance, taking a traffic control course can help keep you safe amidst the numerous safety hazards at your work zone. Besides, such a course isn’t reserved for road workers only. It can also benefit members of the general public by keeping them safe on the road.
In this article, we look at the importance of a traffic safety course for road workers and how it can safeguard their health.
1. Helps Educate Workers on Work Zones Safety Hazards
Most accidents that occur among road construction and traffic control workers result from lack of information or training on the potential road works hazards.
A traffic safety and control training course can help all your roadside workers become aware of the safety threats that are part of their job and how to avoid them. The result is that workers take ownership of their safety and that of their co-workers.
A traffic safety course also helps reinforce safety practices among workers. It reminds them of the importance of taking precautions and creating a safe environment for everyone in the team. For instance, a road maintenance supervisor is taught how to prepare daily documentation of the potential work hazards at their work zone and the steps they can take to eliminate accidents and injuries.
2. Learn How to Use Traffic Control Plans
The most significant risk that traffic control and road construction workers face in their work zones is the danger of getting hit by oncoming vehicles. Having a proper Temporarily Traffic Control Plan (TTCP) in a work zone is vital in ensuring road construction workers' safety.
A TTCP provides adequate guidance and visual cues to make motorists aware that there are changes on the road. Every work zone is different and must have a plan that is specific for its needs.
Moreover, an Internal Traffic Control Plan (ITCP) is also essential to prevent workers from being killed or injured by activities in the work zone. This kind of plan protects workers from large vehicles and equipment from inside the work zone.
A traffic control course helps road workers learn how to develop different types of TTCPs and ITCPs. The course also allows workers to familiarize themselves with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) that should be used for the uniform design and setup of road work zones.
Following such guidelines helps promote safe movement around any road work by both workers and motorists.
3. Understand the Use of PPEs
Road maintenance and traffic management officers face the daily risk of personal injury at their workplaces. One of the most effective strategies to avoid such injuries is to use proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).
Examples of PPEs that a road maintenance worker should have include:
- A hard hat
· Well visible clothes
· Hearing protection if construction work is going on
· Steel-toed boots
PPEs must adhere to the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) guidelines. Part of the training offered in a traffic control and safety course is on the importance of PPEs and how to use them. Having employees who are aware that PPEs keep them safe will see them have their safety gear on all the time. It also helps employers buy PPEs that comply with the ANSI regulations.
4. Use Nonverbal Communication to Promote Road Safety
Clear and consistent communication is crucial for the safety of road workers. In work zones, nonverbal communication creates a safe environment for traffic control officers, coworkers, and the traveling public.
Part of being a traffic control professional requires you to learn standard signs and signals used in work zones. You must be aware of the combination of arm motions, hand signals, and slow or stop signs that will ensure motorists maneuver safely in work zones.
Traffic control and safety training enable zone workers to know how to deliver and understand nonverbal safety directions to motorists and other coworkers keeping everyone safe on the road.
In closing, a course to control traffic does more than help you land a job in traffic management. It ensures you’re safe even as you work by educating you on the traffic threats you’re likely to encounter and how to mitigate them. It also helps you learn the importance of wearing PPEs and how to use and understand nonverbal communication used in work zones.