As a very important part of the construction crew, flaggers ensure that other workers can get the job done by diverting traffic away from the job site. They are required on construction sites where barricades and signs cannot successfully divert traffic. This position can be extremely dangerous in high speed areas or in the presence of aggressive drivers.
There are several safety tips that will ensure a safe working environment on the roadside. Share these tips with the flaggers who work on your site:
- Attend safety training on directing traffic, understanding work zone layouts and responding to emergency vehicles.
- Ask a supervisor how to handle situations with particularly aggressive drivers.
- Wear a vest, shirt or jacket with highly visible colours: fluorescent orange, yellow or green.
- In the evening, wear reflective clothing so drivers can see you from 305 metres away.
- Wear a hard hat, long-sleeved shirt and long pants to protect against flying debris.
- Stay alert to your surroundings at all times.
- Stand on the shoulder visible to oncoming traffic – do not stand in the traffic lane.
- Establish a communication system with other flaggers and the rest of the crew to use in an emergency.
- Be courteous to motorists as you encounter them. Do not respond to angry drivers; instead call law enforcement if necessary.
- Avoid standing in areas where you may be crushed.
- Avoid standing in the shade, around a curve or over the crest of a hill, as drivers may not see you.
- Wait for a co-worker to relieve you before leaving your post.
- Avoid distracting activities such as reading, day dreaming or talking with co-workers.
- Do not listen to music.
- Never turn your back to oncoming traffic.
- Get too close to construction equipment.
Find Out More:
This list is not exhaustive; assessing your exposures and taking the appropriate precautions can go a long way toward protecting your business and your workers. This proactive approach is particularly important when it comes to identifying and avoiding gaps in your risk management program.
Download our “Construction Employee Safety Manual” guide for an in-depth list of more ways to minimize gaps in your risk management and keep your employees safe: