28th February, 2014

Traffic management on construction sites

Traffic management is a crucial factor in almost every construction site. Whether your project involves a vast number of work trucks and machinery or just one vehicle, traffic management can mean the difference between an efficient workday and a claim for injury or property damage.

The machinery and vehicles used on construction sites are typically loud and heavy pieces of equipment. It can therefore be difficult to hear when someone is calling out a warning from behind.

A traffic management plan will help reduce the risk of injury or property damage by ensuring equipment is stored out of a vehicle’s path, pedestrians move within safe thoroughfares and important machinery is parked safely and efficiently.

It is the responsibility of the employer and site manager to protect the health and safety of all workers, contractors and visitors on a construction site. Therefore, creating a traffic management plan is an important step when designing the work site.

If a work vehicle was to accidentally back into an important piece of machinery, or a pedestrian was to step into the path of mobile equipment, you could be liable to cover any repair costs or medical expenses incurred from the incident.

For this reason, it is important to ensure you hold adequate workers’ compensation and public liability insurance. A comprehensive policy in these fields will protect your assets should you be found responsible for personal injury or property damage.

Of course, minimising the risk of these accidents occurring can also help protect you and your business from the financial burden of accidents and injuries and a traffic management plan is perhaps the most effective way of doing this.

An effective traffic management system will include identifying and addressing any potential hazards, consulting workers on their own health and safety issues, eliminating the risks and maintaining a safe worksite.

It is a good idea to create separate traffic paths for pedestrians and vehicles, while also designating parking areas, unloading and loading bays, safe crossings and best practice safety rules regarding machinery operation – such as not playing loud music in order to stay aware of exterior hazards.

Author: Murray Bruce