Keep roadworkers safe

Maintaining the UK’s highway network is vital but dangerous. Amey’s highways maintenance company conducted a survey that revealed alarming statistics about road workers. Despite 87% of drivers admitting to being aware that roadwork is a dangerous job in the UK, nearly three quarters confessed they exceeded speed limits intended to protect road workers. Since 2017, nearly 5,500 drivers have been reported to have accidentally entered roadworks.

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We will look at steps that will help you achieve road worker safety:

Raise public awareness about the dangers faced by road workers

In 2013, the Highways Agency released a document with many different aspects about how to influence driver behaviour at roadworks. However, despite radio campaigning, engagement with local business, recommendations for average speed cameras, CCTV and roadside signs, the problems still persist.

A report by Transport Focus in 2016 looked at roadworks through the eyes of road users and found that they were frustrated because they could not see road workers, yet speed limits were lower. The report made nine recommendations. One of them was that Highways England set speed limits at roadworks to the minimum required for safety. It also recommended that they encourage compliance with these limits by explaining their necessity, rather than just saying ‘for safety’. Roadworks could improve driving behaviour if drivers were aware of the dangers to road workers.

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Make sure road workers have the right safety equipment

The right signage and barriers will help to reduce roadwork incursions and avoid confusion among road users. For Chapter 8 chevrons, visit High-visibility clothing should be worn at all times. However, it is especially important at nighttime when roadworks are common. Hi vis vests, and trousers are included. Head protection is also important for road workers. Highways England released new guidelines in 2016 regarding road worker helmets. Different colours were designated for different responsibilities.

Use technological innovations

A new technology is being developed in order to protect road workers from occupational hazards. Amey has developed a Crash Skid , a crash-control system designed to alert motorists to roadworks. High-tech mats can slow down a car over a distance. Cables are used to lift and catch the vehicle in order to reduce momentum. The use of new technology, such as SAFETYcam or Intellicone, helps protect roadworkers, by capturing dangerous driving incidents and is designed to reduce incursions.

Manage fatigue in night time road workers

It is important to understand the relationship between road worker fatigue and accidents. The Highways Term Management Association Health Safety & Wellbeing Group produced resources that are specifically targeted to workers in temporary traffic management, including a toolbox of resources which includes sleep and nutrition tips as well as information about fatigue being an occupational health hazard.

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