Managing Your Sites Traffic
Construction site traffic management is incredibly important, according to the HSE each year on average there are 7 fatalities as a result of accidents which involve vehicles or mobile plant on construction sites, along with 93 serious injuries. These injuries and fatalities could be avoided through proper traffic management on construction sites and by prioritising vehicle safety on site. There are various ways to control the flow of traffic on a construction site and it involves managing the flow of people, vehicles and mobile plant.
It is the responsibility of the employer to make sure all employees who are to operate a vehicle are fit and competent to do so, this should include having the necessary training to operate the specific vehicle. Drivers and operators should be appropriately trained for the specific vehicles they will be operating; visiting drivers must have their abilities and qualifications thoroughly checked before operating a vehicle on site as would potential new recruits.
Those who work signalling vehicles on-site must also have the appropriate training to ensure safe movement of vehicles. To avoid those without the correct training operating vehicles, access to vehicles should be managed meticulously.
Appropriate Signs and Instructions
Where appropriate on site, make sure to use standard road signs to direct traffic accordingly. Having clear instructions and signs throughout the work site helps to ensure the separation of vehicles and pedestrians. It is important to make sure all pedestrians and drivers on site understand the routes and traffic rules; make sure to provide training on this for all staff and inform visitors prior to their arrival.
Managing vehicle movement is one way to help reduce the risk of accidents on the worksite; the less frequently vehicles have to move across the site, the better. By confining vehicles to a specific area of the worksite you can reduce the occasions on which they come into close contact with pedestrians. By planning the site so that areas which the vehicles need to move between do not involving crossing pedestrian paths, accidents can be reduced. Similarly, installing turning circles where possible or one-way systems can help as one of the main causes of fatal accidents is reversing vehicles.
When vehicles must cross paths with pedestrians and even must reverse in pedestrianised areas, the risk is elevated, and visibility must be considered. There are a few things you can implement in order to help aid visibility. Things such as mirrors, parking sensors or CCTV can be used to assist drivers and help them to see movement around the vehicle. Signallers can also be used to help drivers safely manoeuvre on site; signallers must have proper training. In addition to this, lighting must be optimal on site so that drivers and pedestrians can see all that is happening, and pedestrians should where high-visibility clothing on site.
Clear Separation of People and Vehicles
Clear separation of pedestrians and vehicles can help reduce the risk of accidents by keeping the two apart. This separation should be considered in the early stages of site development. Some ways to separate vehicles and pedestrians have been provided by the HSE:
- Provide separate entry and exit points for pedestrians and vehicles.
- Provide pedestrian only walkways which offer a direct route.
- Install crossing points where drivers and pedestrians can see each other properly.
- Make sure drivers have full visibility when driving onto public roads.
- Avoid obstructions forming on pedestrian walkways.
- Install barriers between pedestrianised areas and roadways.
Road barriers should be installed wherever there is a separation between pedestrian and vehicle to ensure the safety of both and show clearly where the roadway and walkways are.
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