Road construction sites are perilous, heavy objects fall from above, tractors spew exhaust, the sun pours down like molten steel and motorists pay little attention to crew members. Due to the multitude of dangers, personal safety is essential on road construction sites.
Every tool has its trade, excuse the spoonerism, high visibility vests and helmets are the tools of road construction, among other fascinating and hefty machinery. Moreover, helmets and high visibility vests must be worn while on-site. Most motorcyclists wouldn’t consider riding without a helmet, this sentiment should be echoed by road construction crews.
Helmets, especially those that receive an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) rating of 2 or above are paramount for the safety of road construction crew members. Those with a higher rating resist both vertical and horizontal impact. Moreover, some helmets are non-conductive, they are resistant to electrical shock.
High visibility, reflective, vests are as important to a road crew as a paver (the tractor used to lay asphalt). Retroflection, although a technology that has evolved little since the Great Depression, allows crew members to be visible during the day and night. High visibility vests may not be high fashion, but the dayglow orange reflective surface area saves lives. Those vests with an ANSI 2 rating are tailored for road construction.
Although wearing personal safety equipment on-site isn’t a law, it should be. Currently, there is an ongoing battle between safety organizations, such as The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), and the court. Organizations that consider on-site safety an important aspect of any work environment are petitioning for new laws regarding wearing personal safety equipment. Most work-related safety organization agree that citations should be issued for not donning personal safety equipment.
Often, road construction crews work overnight. While this eases congestion on busy highways, it increases the risk of fatal injury. Those road crews who work at night must wear personal safety equipment, such as high visibility vests. On-site safety is paramount, regardless of industry. However, it’s especially important for our brave road construction crew members that toil along busy highways at night.