Todd Jerome Jenkins, MS, CSP, SMS, CHST, STSC

Safety Aficionado & Ph.D. Student

Weekly Safety Topic – Barricades and Warning Devices

Planning is an effective safety tool.  One thing to consider when creating the project plan is the flow of construction traffic through or around the work areas.  Many sources of injuries involving the public and the workers during construction are:

  1. Collision with construction equipment
  2. Pedestrians falling into open excavation work
  3. Driving into open excavation work
  4. Driving into work areas
  5. Entering danger zones such as the swing area of a crane or track hoe.

Barricades and other warning devices will reduce the chances of such accidents.  Remember that barricades as well as signage used in roadways, must meet Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) requirements.

Barricades should be striped with reflective material for visibility.  It is recommended that stripes be six inches wide and inclined at an angle of 45 degrees from the horizontal.  Equip barricades with lights for night visibility.  Signs should conform in shape, size, and color to the recommended specifications.  Signs should be used freely to designate work operations, approach to the operation, warnings, speed limits, etc.

Flaggers are important in controlling the safe flow of traffic.  Flaggers should place themselves where they will be visible to oncoming traffic for at least 500 feet.  They must be visible to traffic at all times.  High visibility vests should be worn by all flaggers.  They should stand on the shoulder opposite the roadblock or in the blocked lane, never in the traffic lane, and should face traffic at all times.  Flag persons should use their traffic control devices correctly and not haphazardly.

Never move a barricade unless necessary, and remember to replace it when finished with your work.  If you see a problem with a barricade, light, or sign, fix it or report it to your supervisor. Remember, Barricades, Signs, and Lights are important to the safety of the traveling public through the job site. 

If you see something, fix IT. if you can’t, tell someone.

Safety starts with you.

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