Traffic Management on Site
Seven workers die every year on construction sites as a result of accidents involving vehicles. A further ninety-three are injured. That’s one hundred more than it should be.
The law stipulates that construction sites should be organised so that vehicles and pedestrians using site routes can move around safely, but these people weren’t safe. Construction site vehicle accidents can and should be prevented by the effective management of transport operations throughout the construction process, but some sites are failing to meet these standards. Inadequate planning and control is the root cause of many construction vehicle accidents.
Keeping Pedestrians Safe from Vehicles
The main catalyst of construction transport accidents is a failure to adequately separate pedestrians fr om vehicles. Sadly, this can easily be avoided, making these accidents unnecessary tragedies which could have been prevented with a little thought and better planning. Considering how to achieve this, particularly at the site’s design stage, and controlling vehicle operations during construction can prevent most accidents from occurring. The following actions are easy to implement and help to keep pedestrians and vehicles apart, increasing site safety:
- Entrances and Exits: Ensure that separate entry and exist gateways are provided for pedestrians and vehicles.
- Walkways: Providing firm, level, well-drained pedestrian walkways that take a direct route will prevent people from using vehicular access to save time getting from one part of the site to another.
- Crossings: At crossover points between roadways and walkways, you should install clearly signed and lit crossing points, providing drivers and pedestrians with clear visibility so that they can easily see each other.
- Obstructions: Do not block walkways, as this will force pedestrians onto the road and put them in danger.
- Barriers: It’s a good idea to install barriers between the roadway and walkway. Contact a company such as JP Concrete to discuss your needs.
Minimising Vehicle Movements
With sufficient planning, it is possible to reduce vehicle movements around a site altogether. Landscaping can reduce the need for fill or spoil movement, and providing car and van parking for the workforce and visitors away from the work area will also help. Additionally, try planning storage areas so that there is no need for delivery vehicles to cross the site.
One of the most common causes of accidents is reversing, so this should be avoided at all costs. Install a one way system to reduce the risk, especially in storage areas. Turning circles also minimise the need to reverse.
If it is not possible to stop people from reversing entirely, then it is vital that increasing visibility becomes a major focus on site. You should consider:
- Aids for Drivers: Mirrors, CCTV cameras and reversing alarms can all aid drivers in spotting movement all around the vehicle.
- Signallers: Signallers can be appointed to control vehicle manoeuvres from on the ground, where visibility is at its best. They should receive training before performing such a task.
- Lighting: Lighting must be installed so that drivers and pedestrians on shared routes can see each other coming after sunset or in bad weather.
- Clothing: Pedestrians on site should be encouraged to wear hi-vis clothing.
It is important that all drivers and pedestrians are aware of and understand the routes and traffic rules on site. Providing induction training for drivers and workers and sending instructions out to visitors before they visit will help to achieve this. If such measures are taken and the above suggestions are implemented into workplace practices and site design, then perhaps fatal accidents can be eradicated once and for all.