Road Works Safety
Without careful management, road works sites can be hazardous for road users and road workers.
Road works are a necessary part of a road’s lifecycle, including during initial construction, upgrades, maintenance and rehabilitation. Road works usually take place while roads are still used by traffic and unless the traffic is well-managed, work sites can become complex and unpredictable, and can greatly increase risk.
According to the CAREC Road Safety Engineering Manual 2: Safer Road Works, research has shown that the risk of a serious crash at or in a work site is 3-5 times higher than on any other section of the road. The Safer Road Works manual presents the current best practice for road safety at work sites, emphasizing:
- a “hierarchy of controls” approach to control the hazard and reduce risk at worksites: risk elimination (such as such as traffic diversion), engineering controls (such as safety barriers), administrative controls (such as reduced speeds) and personal protective equipment (such as high visibility vests).
- the importance of designing safe Traffic Management Plans (TMPs) and having them approved for safety by the road authority
- the six-zone concept for designing, implementing, and reviewing TMPs (early warning zone, advance warning zone, taper zone, safety buffer zone, work zone, and termination zone)
- close attention to the safety of road workers
- good practice in the use of signs and delineators at road works
- safe operating instructions for traffic controllers.
The webinar Road Safety at Roadworks: High Speed Roads – Traffic Management provides practical guidance on managing risk during road works.
- Increased safety for road users.
- Increased safety for road workers.