Work that is done near or on the road is associated with tons of hazards for obvious reasons. But just like any other industry, these hazards can be mitigated by taking proper precautions.
Working by the road, highway, tunnel, bridge, or street comes with certain hazards. Aside from the most obvious risk of being struck by a vehicle, workers in this industry are also prone to common work-related accidents such as falls, electrocutions, caught-in or caught-in-between, penetration, rollovers, and so much more.
To avoid these risks, employers must ensure that all employees are wearing complete PPE, which includes the following:
Workers on the roadside, especially those who are working during the night, may not be seen by oncoming traffic without high-visibility or reflective garments. With a wide variety of brightly colored vests and tabards for sale , there’s no reason for a roadside worker not to wear one.
Almost every trade industry requires employees to wear hard hats for obvious reasons. With roadside work, in particular, a hard hat will protect workers from injuries caused by falling objects, striking the head, or contact with a live wire. Employers should always make sure that workers’ hard hats are free from damage such as cracks or dents.
Closed, steel toe boots can protect workers against foot injuries associated with heavy equipment falling on their feet. Moreover, roadside workers’ boots should be non-slip and puncture-resistant, as some worksites may involve damp surfaces or sharp objects on the ground.
Workers should be provided with a pair of protective gloves, made with heavy-duty material that can protect the hands from cuts, chemical splashes, burns, abrasions, and accidental electrocution. However, the gloves should still allow workers’ fingers to move freely inside of them.
To protect the rest of the body from superficial injuries and extremes of temperature, workers should don thick yet flexible pants and long-sleeved t-shirts or overalls. Workers’ clothes should allow as much movement as possible, but should never be baggy to prevent them from snagging on machinery.
Proper eye protection should be worn to keep the eyes safe from hazards such as flying objects, dust, fumes, and harmful chemicals. Eye protection may not be worn all the time during roadside work, but if a worker is going to do welding, cutting, grinding, or nailing, eye gear is a must.
Roadside work is known to be exceptionally noisy. In fact, construction equipment can create noise that is loud enough to damage a person’s hearing. To prevent loss of hearing, workers should wear earplugs or earmuffs whenever they use or are around loud machinery.
Most road work is done during the night when there is less traffic passing through. That said, workers often have floodlights to illuminate the site. However, floodlights may not be enough. Workers should also be equipped with headlights and torches, lest they want to fall in a dark hole or slip on a poorly visible puddle.
Construction is an incredibly dangerous job, given the risks associated with it. But with complete and appropriate personal protective equipment, these risks are significantly reduced and the workers will remain safe.