Though there are some perks to being a road worker, it’s essential that you are aware of the risks associated with such work. These people are responsible for building our roads, moving lines, and operating heavy machinery, and they must be aware of road travelers. One of the most dangerous parts of working a job like this is the inability to determine when a reckless driver will meet your path. Following a few tips for beginning road workers will help you stay safe and alert during your employment.
Properly Control Traffic
Work zones have warning signage posted everywhere to help motorists know where to drive, the speed at which to drive, and what to watch out for. Unfortunately, one distracted or confused driver can mean grave conditions for many. There should be a buffer area between moving cars and the work area. Lane closures and signage letting travelers know when a work zone has ended will help keep workers safe.
Be Aware of Surroundings
You’ll still need to be aware of your surroundings at all times, even if the work areas are clearly marked. Not only must you watch out for irresponsible and erratic drivers, but you must also be conscious of the spaces where you are walking. Around the site, individuals are operating heavy machinery, digging deep holes, and doing other work that presents an array of safety hazards you must be aware of and prepared for. Keep your eyes open and maintain alertness until you exit your work zone.
Wear Proper Safety Equipment
You may not know this, but there are different colored safety vests with different amounts of reflective tape on them to delineate the type of work being done and the speed limit of traffic in a particular zone. Be sure you are familiar with the ANSI safety vest requirements to determine which vest you will need in your workspace to maintain the best visibility from cars and heavy machine operators. Additionally, you should always be wearing a hard hat and steel-toed boots.
Protect Your Health
When you’re outside for a long time, even if you’re not moving, you’re losing water. Be sure you are keeping yourself hydrated and replenishing your salt intake on those hot days. Don’t underestimate the effects of excessive sweating. Additionally, frequently reapply sunscreen, wear long sleeves, and keep your neck and face shaded when you can—even while wearing a hard hat.
There are many additional tips for beginning road workers. Your particular company may have even more extensive guidelines to maintain safety. Be sure you are complying with these requirements to ensure a life-altering occurrence that could have been avoided doesn’t happen.