Toolbox Talk: Night Shift: Road Work

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CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training

Summary Statement

The CPWR Toolbox Talk on Night Shift: Road Work addresses risks associated with doing road work at night. The resource includes a ‘real-life’ case example, steps to prevent a related injury or illness, and questions for discussion. It includes an image (page 2) that illustrates the hazard, which can be posted in a central location as a reminder of steps to work safely.   Click on the following links to access the English version and the Spanish version. (English) (Español)

CPWR Toolbox Talk logoWorkplace injury records indicate that more injuries occur on night shifts than during day shifts. There are obvious hazards connected with working at night (such as lack of light), but some problems are less obvious. For instance, because changes in weather patterns are difficult to notice at night, rain can quickly cause slick surfaces.


Here is an Example

Shortly after 2:00 a.m., some electricians in Pennsylvania were climbing up a ladder to fix a light during a power outage. One lost his balance and fell because he was blinded by the lights of a car heading down the street. He was treated at the hospital as a safety measure; other than the scare he did not suffer any injuries.

  1. What actions can be taken by night workers to ensure that they are as safe as daytime workers?
  2. Do you work at night? Have you ever experienced an injury that was related to working at night?

Working at Night

  • Install low-level transitional lighting in advanced warning areas and termination areas to ease motorists’ adjustment to changing lighting conditions.
  • Increase the size of traffic control devices, reflective material, and lettering to improve driver recognition.
  • Ensure arrow panels are set at nighttime levels; daytime settings used at night produce blinding light.
  • Provide mobile floodlights to give the site visibility.
  • Wear reflective vests and clothing. The amount of reflective surface and type of garment depend on the risk a worker is facing. The amount of traffic, speed of traffic, type of work and time of day all affect the choice of garments.

What Are We Going to Do Today?

What will we do here at the worksite today to prevent injuries while working at night?








Graphic of a worker on the night shift. The worker is wearing reflective clothing, in the vicinity of arrow panels and construction lights.

  • Ensure arrow panels are set at nighttime levels.
  • Provide mobile floodlights to give the site visibility.
  • Wear reflective vests and clothing.