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As a very important part of the construction crew, a flagger ensure that other workers can get the job done by diverting traffic away from the job site. They are required on construction sites where barricades and signs cannot successfully divert traffic. This position can be extremely dangerous in high-speed areas or in the presence of aggressive drivers.
There are several safety tips that will ensure a safe working environment on the roadside.
- Attend safety training on directing traffic, understanding work zone layouts and responding to emergency vehicles.
- Ask your supervisor how to handle situations with particularly aggressive drivers.
- Wear a vest, shirt or jacket with highly visible colors: fluorescent orange, yellow or green.
- In the evening, wear reflective clothing so drivers can see you from 1,000 feet away.
- Wear a hard hat, long-sleeved shirt and long pants to protect against flying debris.
- Stay alert to your surroundings at all times.
- Stand on the shoulder visible to oncoming traffic – do not stand in the traffic lane.
- Establish a communication system with other flaggers and the rest of the crew to use in an emergency.
- Be courteous to motorists as you encounter them. Do not respond to angry drivers. Instead, call law enforcement if necessary.
- Avoid standing in areas where you may be crushed.
- Avoid standing in the shade, around a curve or over the crest of a hill, as drivers may not see you.
- Wait for a co-worker to relieve you before leaving your post.
- Avoid distracting activities such as reading, day dreaming or talking with co-workers.
- Do not listen to music.
- Never turn your back to oncoming traffic.
- Stay a safe distance away from construction equipment
Looking for more guidance and information? Contact The Safegard Group today for additional resources and more safety tips.