Construction takes place in various areas, ranging from rural areas with little to no traffic to cities with high foot and vehicle traffic. Regardless of the volume of traffic present, workplace hazards are always present.
Thus, as an employer or construction company entrepreneur, you’re responsible for ensuring the safety of your employees, pedestrians, and motorists whenever you have construction work in progress. Injuries and, in severe cases, permanent disabilities or deaths can happen if there are very few preventative safety measures in place.
To help you out, the following are ways that site managers like you can improve construction safety in high-traffic areas:
1. Develop A Traffic Management Plan
Construction in high-traffic areas is very complicated because you need to take into consideration different types of passersby in the most immediate proximity of your construction project. This calls for the need for an effective traffic management plan.
To help you out with high-stake construction projects in high-traffic areas, it’s recommended that you work with an experienced and reputable traffic control company. A traffic management plan is vital for your construction site, and your chosen traffic control company can provide you with a customized traffic management plan.
As a reminder, the construction traffic management plan must be in place before construction work officially begins. With an effective traffic management plan in place early on, nearby businesses, residents, pedestrians, and traffic will experience little to no impact.
What should a traffic management plan have? It should have clear and concise details such as traffic and pedestrian routes, dedicated loading and unloading and material delivery areas, and travel areas for passersby.
In addition, the plan must include placing the proper signage surrounding the construction site. Place pavement markers like traffic cones and construction site tape, and there should be warning signages of the dangers and hazards passersby can easily spot and see from a distance. The warning signs must be clear and easy to understand.
Here are other signs that should be at the barriers of the construction to give warning to people:
- Keep Out – warns pedestrians not to enter the site as construction occurs.
- High Voltage – keep this sign in areas where there’s a presence of electrical voltage. This signage should be propped up to help people avoid electrocution.
- Demolition Warnings – place this sign at areas where demolition is set to occur to let people know to avoid the area.
- Watch for Forklifts – must be near areas where heavy machinery is in operation.
Individuals will know when to stay away from the construction site at risk of getting hurt.
2. Get Your Whole Team Take Individual Roles In Upholding Safety
To uphold construction site safety, you must ensure that every member of your construction team understands and practices the different policies, safety precautions, and practices in place. Their active participation is a must to boost your company’s safety program. You should also check pavement marking sources like Transline to ensure you get quality safety equipment for your construction site.
Gather your most trusted employees who’ll make up the safety committee from various areas and levels of the business. Instruct them to review the safety program in place and update it by creating customized safety plans before a construction project commences. Potential construction dangers must be identified too.
If you have team members with basic first aid training, you can assign them to the accident response team to attend to injured individuals once an accident occurs. They should also know what to do to prevent further hazards.
At the end of the day, take measures to make your workers feel that they’re a part of a bigger mission to uphold construction safety at all times. Set up mechanisms such as feedback recognition and so on to encourage boosted workplace participation and engagement.
3. Train Employees On Construction Safety
Adhere to the following golden rule: construction workers must learn safety skills before entering the construction site.
While they learn their specialty skills at trade skills and on the job, it’s imperative to give each laborer a refresher on safety protocols. A refresher can help them know how to do their tasks effectively to reduce the likelihood of making mistakes and minimize the risk of accidents.
Employers can give workers access to valuable information about construction site safety set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) and other organizations. There are training videos and worksheets available on safety and security measures.
4. Prop Up A Protective Fence Covering The Construction Area’s Perimeter
Fencing is among the regular practices at construction sites in high-traffic areas. Why? It’s because the perimeter must be closed off to prevent outsiders from entering.
Fencing is also essential to contain construction-related hazards all within the confines of a fenced perimeter. Within the sealed construction area, your personnel are expected to carry out all of your company’s safety protocols. For instance, operators of heavy machinery lifting materials must ensure that they’re depositing the materials inside and must not cross the wall. Plus, the areas receiving materials and where cranes are working must be sealed off to the public in case the load suddenly drops.
Other safety measures include:
- Consider adding concrete barriers to prevent the entry of vehicles.
- Add lights at the construction site to deter individuals from entering.
- Install security cameras at the perimeter and signs that say, ‘camera surveillance’. Make sure that they’re strategically placed, especially at entryways.
- Invest in sea containers to secure your most expensive tools and equipment to keep them out of sight in case of a break in
- Secure dangerous or flammable materials, if any, at designated storage lockers.
- Keep excavation areas covered or barricaded; block stairwells and maintenance holes.
Make sure that entrances, where workers go through during the day, are locked and secured. Restrict unauthorized access at all costs.
Construction-related risks are present in any given project, whether there’s high-traffic present or not. Some ways to uphold construction project safety in areas with high traffic are enumerated and discussed above. As a construction company owner or safety manager, it’s highly recommended that you keep them in mind to safeguard your personnel, the public, your business; public branding, and so on.