Road work can pose a risk to workers as well as to those driving through the work zone. In 2014, 669 people lost their lives in work zone crashes, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Approximately 85 percent of the fatalities were driving or riding in a car rather than working on the road. However, in a typical year, pavement workers account for up to 3 percent of the nation’s total workplace fatalities. When it comes to asphalt paving Texas contractors are acutely aware of the risks. Therefore, reputable contractors do everything they can to protect their workers and the public.
How to Improve Safety in Paving Work Zones
How Do Asphalt Contractors Enhance Safety?
Reputable contractors place a high priority on the safety of everyone working on the ground, operating a piece of equipment, delivering raw materials, or walking near or driving through the construction zone. A safe work zone requires the thoughtful execution of several steps.
1. Training: Before they step onto a work site, employees need to be thoroughly trained in every facet of their jobs. Only qualified personnel should operate equipment, and those who work on the ground need to understand certain concepts about the equipment, including operator blind spots and each machine’s turning radius.
2. Planning: Every job is unique, so the contractor must plan accordingly. He must find the answers to numerous questions, including the length of the paving train, the best location for employee parking, and the types of devices and equipment he will need to enhance safety and control traffic.
3. Traffic Control: The type, volume, and speed of traffic are critical factors when devising a strategy for controlling traffic. For example, an Austin paving job could cover a few blocks in a quiet residential enclave or several miles of a busy four-lane highway. Traffic control devices can include warning signs, barrels, cones, concrete barriers and wooden barricades. Also, some jobs will require the use of flaggers or pilot cars.
How Can Drivers Contribute to Work Zone Safety?
Drivers can help protect workers as well as themselves by obeying all warning signs, including adjusted speed limit signs. An experienced asphalt contractor knows which signs to post and where to place them so that drivers will not face unnecessary inconveniences. Other tips appear on the following list.
• Obey the speed limit. An asphalt contractor will choose the appropriate speed for the proximity of the work to moving traffic, the types of vehicles in the construction zone and the time of day. There may also be factors that drivers cannot anticipate, including a detour with a sharp curve or a bridge with narrowed lanes.
• Be especially attentive when driving through a work zone. Distracted drivers account for a significant number of accidents in zones undergoing road construction, so refrain from texting, applying makeup, resetting your navigation system or doing anything else that will divert your attention from your driving.
• If a sign indicates that you will need to change lanes, do not wait until the last minute. Many traffic jams result from too many drivers waiting to change lanes until their lane ends. This increases the risk of rear-end collisions and other accidents.
Alpha Paving is an Austin-based paving contractor and we take the issue of worksite safety very seriously. Ongoing training programs help us ensure that our employees know how to stay safe on the job as well as how to improve safety for the public. We are a highly esteemed paving company serving the greater Austin area and most of Central Texas. Our services include asphalt crack sealing, asphalt paving, asphalt sealcoating, asphalt repairs, asphalt resurfacing and asphalt milling. We also offer parking lot striping, road construction, parking lot signs, concrete installation, thermoplastic pavement markings and concrete repairs. Our clients range from national chains to local governments and include airports, shopping centers, apartment complexes, cities and counties, religious institutions, restaurants, grocery stores, office parks, subdivisions, educational facilities, hospitals, manufacturing facilities, hotels and assisted living centers. We deliver superior results at reasonable rates. For a free quote on your project, complete the online form or call 512-677-9001.
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