Toolbox Talk: Traffic Safety

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CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training

Summary Statement

The CPWR Toolbox Talk on Traffic Safety addresses the risks associated with highway and street construction. 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)

https://www.cpwr.com/publications/toolbox-talks

CPWR Toolbox Talk logoHighway and street construction workers are at risk of both fatal and nonfatal injuries when working near passing motorists, construction vehicles, and equipment. Each year, more than 100 workers are killed and over 20,000 are injured in the highway and street construction industry.

Here is an Example

A construction crew of eleven workers was paving the northbound side of a six-lane highway. A speeding truck was unable to slow down and drove through the barricaded construction site. The crash sent pieces of the wooden barricades flying all over the construction site. Jack, a crew member, was injured when he was hit by one of the pieces of wood.

  1. What could the workers have done to prevent this?
  2. Do you work near or on a highway or street?
  3. Are you aware of how to prevent a fatality?

Traffic Safety

  • Have a supervisor knowledgeable in traffic control principles be responsible for the safety of the work zone setup.
  • Have a supervisor evaluate the effectiveness of the temporary traffic control setup by walking or riding the job and looking for evidence of near misses, such as skid marks or damaged barricades.
  • Reduce worker exposure to injury. Consider rerouting all traffic to one side of a highway or completely closing the road. Concrete barriers provide more protection than cones.
  • Use traffic control devices, such as signs, warning devices, paddles, and concrete barriers in a consistent manner throughout the entire work area.
  • Provide flaggers with devices that increase their visibility to passing motorists and construction vehicles. One example that has been shown to be effective is the flashing slow/ stop paddle, which has a strobe light mounted on its face.

What Are We Going to Do Today?

What will we do here at the worksite today to prevent injuries in traffic areas?

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2.____________________________________________________________

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3.____________________________________________________________

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OSHA STANDARD 1926.200

Graphic of workers in a construction zone. All workers are wearing proper reflective clothing; one work is holding a slow/stop sign with a strobe light for passing motorists.

  • Reduce worker exposure to injury.
  • Use traffic control devices, such as signs, warning devices, paddles, and concrete barriers in a consistent manner throughout the entire work area.
  • Provide flaggers with devices that increase their visibility to passing motorists and construction vehicles. One example that has been shown to be effective is the flashing slow/stop paddle, which has a strobe light mounted on its face.