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Road construction work zones must be safe

Road construction workers face countless risks each day they report to the job site. Proper steps must be taken to keep these workers safe. Making this happen takes a comprehensive approach.

One of the biggest hazards that construction workers face is other vehicles on the road. While construction zones have lower speed limits than normal roads, some drivers don't respect the rules. This can lead to catastrophic or fatal accidents. Here are some important safety rules to consider:

Stay out of blind spots

There are a lot of blind spots in a road construction area. The spaces around heavy machinery and large objects come to mind. Make sure that you are using brightly colored and reflective clothing when you are in the construction zone.

Observe the environment

People who are operating machinery and vehicles in a construction zone need to make sure they are watching what is going on around them. Using the mirrors and having a spotter when necessary can help to keep all of the workers safe from being run over or crushed while doing their job.

Set the perimeter

Setting up the barrels, cones and signage around the construction zone can help drivers moving through the area to remain cognizant of workers. This isn't foolproof, but the extra attention might help to save lives. The perimeter set-up and the items you need are dependent upon the area of the job so a clear plan must be established before the start of every shift.

Keep everyone informed

The supervisors of the shift should have a safety meeting before workers start their day. This should address the plan for the day and what hazards might be present. Determining how to address the issues now might help them to figure out if there are changes that need to be made to the protocol for the day.

Evaluate the site

A competent person must be present for every shift, according to OSHA guidelines. This person needs to be able to identify any hazards, such as unsanitary or dangerous conditions, present at the job site. This person should be able to give directions about what protective equipment is needed, as well as helping workers to stay on point with the safety plan.

Some of the hazards workers completing road construction projects face are self mitigated. They should make sure they are staying hydrated and using proper handwashing procedures throughout the shift. If an injury or illness does occur, seeking medical care right away should be a priority.

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