When higher ranking control measures are unable to reduce worker and vehicle exposure to movement risk, then employer risk management initiatives must be introduced to the workplace. Employees need to be trained in addition to the more passive signage and marker controls.
Traffic Management: Worksite traffic: Roadside worksites involve not only road construction and maintenance risk management protocols but, indeed must be included in any worksite risk assessment. Assessment of risk must include management of all movable plant, including EWP, vehicles, forklifts and any machinery capable of being towed. Do not overlook cyclists. Consider blind spots with the installation of mirrors, advance warning to all vehicles and pedestrians and sufficient and suitable site signage. HI VIS clothing is essential but essentially a passive control measure reliant upon education and enforcement as to is defined walkways and “Zone separation” initiatives for protection of the visiting public.
If your work involves any work on or near a public thoroughfare or road then the relevant local road authority must be consulted for traffic management requirements and guidelines.
The Safework Australia website (www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au) provides workplace traffic management guidance material for reference and instruction. It gives information for persons conducting a business or undertaking on how to manage traffic risks at any workplace. This Guide is supported by specific traffic management guides for:
- Shopping centres
- Construction workplaces
- Warehouses, and
Traffic Signage: Before installing any traffic control signage prepare a traffic control plan which is site specific not generic.
HI VIS Traffic Cones and Bollards: When traffic cones and bollards are required a site risk assessment must include night visibility considerations. Both cones and bollards can be fitted with lights.
Barricade Flags, Tapes and Chains: These products are a passive control measure in themselves and therefore must not be used as a primary warning system without signage and supervision.
Speed Control Systems: Speed control systems may require blind spot mirrors, as well as speed bumps, barricades and boom gates. Certain short-term low impact works can be carried out without the use of fully protected static work site controls which could otherwise lead to significant work inefficiencies. Partial relaxation of some permanent speed control safety standards is permissible provided that a specific risk management protocol is put in place. This assessment must take into account traffic volume (both vehicular and pedestrian), site geometry (width and visibility), general behaviour and training of road users. Temporary speed limits pose a great risk at any worksite.
Emergency Roadside Triangles and Traffic Wands: There are specific guidelines in the standard AS 1743-2001 Road signs – Specifications for the use and location of emergency roadside triangles. Traffic wands are ideal for use at temporary changes to worksite layout for example during excavation or renovation. The light intensity of LED traffic wands makes them suitable for both day and night use.