Summary Statement

A handout describing dangers of working in a highway workzone and steps to take to improve safety such as wearing PPE and correctly placing traffic control devices. Part of a collection. Click on the 'collection' button to access the other items.

This document is one in a program produced under an OSHA grant by a consortium of the Laborers' Health and Safety Fund N.A, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the American Road and Transportation Builders Assn, and the National Asphalt Pavement Assn. All of the documents from this set that are on eLCOSH can be found by clicking on Job Site, Heavy construction, and scrolling to the Street & highway heading. Or to download a complete version of the computerized program, go to http://wzsafety.tamu.edu.

Can We Be Safe Near Equipment/Traffic?
Being struck is the biggest danger in road work.

Workers on foot must

  • Remain alert at all times
  • Check surroundings often, listen for warnings
  • Keep a safe distance from traffic
  • Stay behind protective barriers where possible
  • Look out for each other, warn coworkers
What Other Precautions Do We Need?
Employers must provide proper PPE.

Workers must wear personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Proper class of safety vest at all times in the work zone
  • High-visibility clothing and headgear
  • Bright-colored hard hats are more visible
Class I
Illustration of vests
Class II
Illustration of vests
Class III
Illustration of vests

What About Construction Equipment?
Treat equipment and vehicles with caution.

Around equipment, vehicles
  • Stay out of "blind spots"
  • Communicate with operators by radio signals and/or eye contact
  • Don't approach until you communicate with operator and he/she acknowledges you
  • Stay outside a "safety circle" around equipment
  • Stay clear of vehicles, know traffic control plan
  • Use spotters when you must work with your back to equipment or traffic

How Can We Be Safe When Placing TCDs?
Simple precautions make placement of TCDs (Traffic Control Devices) safer.

Workers should
  • Wear a Class III vest to be easily seen
  • Place, relocate, or remove TCDs when traffic flow is light
  • When possible, work from platform on vehicle
  • Use seat, seatbelt, fall restraint, or guardrail and a handhold when guardrail must be removed
  • Stay in constant communication with driver
  • Use shadow vehicle to warn drivers