Summary Statement

A handout describing steps that flaggers should take to protect themselves, including wearing PPE, and understanding the hazards. 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

What Is the Main Hazard of Flagging?
Motorists kill about 20 flaggers each year.

Flagging can be dangerous
  • High speed traffic
  • Angry or aggressive drivers
  • After seeing flagger, a motorist going 60 mph needs almost 400 feet to stop

How Can We Protect Ourselves?
Be visible and wear protective equipment.

Wear high visibility clothing
  • Orange, yellow, or green vest
  • Reflective vest at night
Wear other protective equipment
  • Long-sleeved shirt and pants
  • Hard hat
  • Appropriate clothes for expected weather (rain gear, warm coat)

How Can We Protect Ourselves?
Stay alert and out of harm's way.

 Keep your guard up
  • Stand alone on shoulder in clear view, not in open traffic lane
  • Plan an escape route for emergencies
  • Stay in communication with other flaggers
  • Stay alert, keep focused on work
  • Make sure your hand signals don't conflict with traffic signals
  • Treat motorists with respect and courtesy, don't pick fights or respond to anger, notify law enforcement when motorists do not obey flaggers

What Should Flaggers Avoid?
Flaggers must avoid dangerous behavior.

Flagging Don'ts:
  •  Don't stand where you can be crushed
  • Don't stand in the shade, over the crest of a hill, or around a sharp curve
  • Don't leave your position until properly relieved
  • Don't stand near equipment
  • Don't stand in a group
  • Don't make unneeded conversation
  • Don't read or daydream on duty
  • Don't listen to music or use ear phones
  • Don't turn your back to the traffic