Stay Safe in the Work Zone This Summer

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If your workers are out in a work zone this summer, chances are you have already prepared them for the task. They should know what they need to stay safe on the job.

But it’s always helpful to remind workers about safety protocol to ensure they follow proper procedures when they’re in a work zone.

Here are some reminders to share with your workers:

  • Work facing traffic, when possible.
  • Try not to inadvertently move closer to traffic while working.
  • Keep an eye on changing traffic conditions.
  • Know where work vehicles and mobile equipment are at all times.
  • Address safety concerns with your supervisor.

 

When you need to provide workers with the supplies they need to stay safe on the job, count on Seton. Give us a call at 855-581-1218 or visit http://www.seton.ca and we can help you select the safety products you need.

 

 

Spring Safety: Protect Workers in the Work Zone

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As we begin spring and workers are on the job in outdoor work zones once again, it’s a good time for a refresher on how to stay safe in a work zone.

ConeZoneBC.com offers a safety checklist workers should review before they begin any projects in an outdoor work zone.

If workers can’t answer “yes” to any question, they need to address their concerns with their employer.

  • Do you understand your organization’s procedures for working safely at the roadside?
  • Are you aware of the hazards associated with your work site?
  • Have you had a safety briefing to review work site hazards?
  • Do you understand the work zone set-up (traffic cones, signs)?
  • Are you familiar with the movements of mobile equipment and work vehicles at your work site?
  • Do you understand your organization’s procedures for working safely around mobile equipment and work vehicles?
  • Are you wearing your high-visibility garment? Is it clean and usable—not torn or faded?
  • Do you require other personal protective equipment (PPE) required for your job activity? If so, are you wearing it?
  • Do you know your escape route in case a vehicle crosses into the work zone?
  • Do you know what to do in case of an emergency incident at your work site?
  • Have you discussed any and all safety concerns with your supervisor?

If you don’t know where your work site will be in advance:

  • Do you have the appropriate traffic warning signs and traffic control devices, such as cones, in your vehicle?
  • Do you understand how to correctly place traffic warning signs and devices?
  • Do you know how to identify and address site-specific hazards once you arrive at your work site?

Prepare your workers for a safe spring and summer. Provide them with this checklist and encourage them to inform you about any concerns they may have.

Avoid Distracted Driving Mistakes: Keep Your Workers Focused and Off the Phone

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Most provinces prohibit the use of hand held cell phones and text messaging while driving.

While your workers likely want to be accessible at all times, even when they are on the road, it’s important to remind them to avoid being distracted while driving. This especially means they need to avoid the improper use of their cell phones.

The Canada Safety Council offers these suggestions on staying safe behind the wheel while managing cell phone use.

  • Keep your hands on the wheel. Hold the wheel at the 9 and 3 o’clock positions.
  • Use a hands-free model. But still keep your conversation short, since talking can be a distraction.
  • Stay in your lane. Don’t drift into another lane while talking on your phone.
  • Use voice or speed dialing. This requires less handling of the phone.
  • Never dial while driving. Dial manually only when stopped.
  • Never text message while driving. Pull over if you need to respond to a text message.
  • Take a message. Let your voice mail answer you calls.
  • Know when to stop talking. Keep conversations brief.
  • Keep the phone in its holder. Make sure your phone is securely in place.
  • Don’t take notes while driving. Pull off the road if you need to write.
  • Be a wireless samaritan. Use your phone to report crimes and emergencies.
  • Drive defensively. Be prepared for unexpected actions by other drivers, as well as changing driving conditions.

 

Improving Work Zone Safety

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Work zones can be danger zones.  Statistics from the Transportation Association of Canada clearly prove that point.

In Quebec from 2010 and 2012, work zone collisions made up 3.1% of all collisions and 27 fatal collisions. In Saskatchewan, between 2008 and 2012, nearly 0.4% of all collisions were work zone collisions with four fatal collisions.

The numbers were similar in Alberta between 2008 and 2012, with 0.7% of all collisions represented by work zone collisions, and 15 fatal collisions.

To keep those numbers down, many safety steps need to be put in place to keep workers and motorists safe.

Wearing proper PPE (personal protective equipment) is one way in which workers can protect themselves in highway work zones. Workers should wear high-visibility clothing, such as arm bands, hats and vests. They should also avoid wearing colors that make them blend into their environment (such as foliage).

Fluorescent clothing made with retro-reflective material should be worn in sites with poor lighting conditions.

The possibility of workers being struck by construction vehicles is always a main concern in a work zone. To help reduce such incidents, an internal traffic control plan (ITCP) should be put in place. The purpose of an ITCP is to effectively coordinate the flow of construction vehicles, equipment and workers near and in a work zone to keep those workers safe.

Workers should be trained in the implementation of the ITCP for each project and a trained ITCP coordinator at each job site can respond immediately to hazards at the site.

All workers, drivers and visitors to a work zone should have a copy of the ITCP and safety guidelines upon entering a work zone.