Arrive Alive

Safety of workers and flagmen in areas of road construction

Workers in areas of road construction are worthy of protection. On the Arrive Alive website, we find information on safe driving in areas of construction activity.

The most important safety precaution for drivers is to obey the Rules of the Road, road signage and the directions from flagmen.

This will allow for safe sharing of the roads by normal road traffic, construction vehicles as well as workers in the area.

It is important for construction companies to ensure that those employees regulating the flow of traffic are doing so with the necessary training and safety awareness.

We have received a few examples of incorrect positioning of the flagmen:

We decided to raise a greater understanding of the importance of safety for flagmen by raising a few questions with our friends from Master Builders Association North:

  • Who is ultimately responsible for ensuring the safety of the flagmen?
    The contractor/employer of the flagman and so the direct supervisor and appointed the manager for that section of work.
     
  • Are there specific regulations applying to how these flagmen should operate?
    There are guidelines stated in Appendix B Chapter 13 Volume 2 of the ‘South African Road Traffic Signs Manual”
     
  • Are they provided with any training to gain an understanding of what should and should not be done? Is this something you would recommend?
    Training should be given required under both OHS Act Section 8 and Construction Regulation 7. I believe SARF “South African Road Federation” has formal training available or can recommend. The reality, of course, is that they do not necessarily receive proper training. As the photos show often little thought is given to a “simple” control.
     
  • What is the correct positioning of the flagmen at a stop-go – and are there different workers with different duties?
    There are clear setup guidelines in the Chapter 13 document (see slides attached – examples)
     
  • Can specific engineering or design recommendations enhance the safety of these workers at the stop-and-go and what would these be?
    Yes, carriers can be used and/ or temporary traffic lights, this requires special permissions, permits etc.
     
  • Is there specific guidance either from the labour law side or a safety side as to work hours and how long their shifts should be?
    No specific requirements in the Construction Regulations except that a risk assessment should be performed and if this were done properly then restrictions could be identified.
     
  • What is the desired protective/ reflective clothing these workers should be wearing?
    I am not aware of specific regulated requirements but suppliers provide recommendations. Contractors, unfortunately, base their purchase on price. Clients like SANRAL may specify requirements in their Health & Safety Specifications.
     
  • What have you experienced as the biggest threats to the safety of these workers?
    Reckless disregard by motorists even when there is adequate early warning signage and controls in place. Taxis are the biggest culprits
     
  • Are there specific traffic signs that could enhance their safety  - what do you recommend and what are the signs too often neglected?
    As above there are clear recommendations in the Road Signs manual. These are often neglected due to ignorance of the existence of this guideline, the cost of implementing the controls as required. Signs get damaged and stolen. Companies need to (and many do) a traffic safety officer who is responsible for daily checks and maintenance.
     
  • Do you have any additional recommendations that are not covered by these Q&A’s that you would like to bring to the attention of road users when driving near road construction?
    Be courteous and patient and Report bad driving
Thanx! A word of appreciation to Doug Michell from MBA North for the assistance rendered.

Traffic Management

Warning Traffic

Warning Traffic
Stand facing traffic looking directly at the driver - Flag in left hand - move flag up and down from the side of the leg to shoulder height continuously - For added effect move right arm up and down as well.

To Stop Traffic

To Stop Traffic
Stand facing traffic looking directly at the driver - flag in left hand - move flag up and down from side of leg to shoulder until vehicle is 100 paces away - Looking at driver directly - hold flag at shoulder height with outstretched arm - Raise right hand with palm to face traffic - This procedure is for short term use only.

Vehicles To Proceed

Vehicles To Proceed

Turn right-hand side of the body towards oncoming traffic - lower flag behind left leg and indicate with the horizontal swinging movement of the right arm that vehicles may proceed.

To Slow Traffic Down

To Slow Traffic Down
Stand facing traffic looking directly at the driver - Keep flag at shoulder height with outstretched arm and raise right hand - palm facing traffic - As soon as traffic has slowed enough turn right-hand side of body to oncoming traffic - Lower flag behind left leg and indicate with horizontal swinging movement of the arm that vehicles may proceed.

Warning of Slow-Moving Vehicles

Warning of Slow-Moving Vehicles
Walk 300 paces in front of moving vehicle while raising and lowering flag continuously from side of leg to shoulder height - At sharp curves or when visibility of the vehicle is reduced, stand still, facing and visible to oncoming traffic, and continue to raise and lower flag to warn traffic - user flag in arm nearest to road.

Warning Traffic

Warning Traffic
Stand with the right-hand side of the body towards oncoming traffic - hold STOP/GO sign with GO turned to traffic with the right hand - Move flag up and down continuously, behind the sign, from the side of the left leg to shoulder height while vehicles are approaching.

To Stop Traffic

To Stop Traffic
Stand with the right-hand side of the body towards oncoming traffic hold STOP/GO sign with the STOP side facing traffic - Move flag up and down continuously from the side of the left leg to shoulder height, behind the sign, until traffic is 100 paces away then keep flag at shoulder height pointing towards road centre.

Vehicles To Proceed

Vehicles To Proceed
Make sure that all vehicles from the other side have passed through and that the flagman at the opposite end has closed the road - Turn STOP/GO sign to GO and lower flag behind left leg behind the sign.

To Slow Traffic Down

To Slow Traffic Down
Stand with the right-hand side of the body towards oncoming traffic - hold STOP/GO sign with a right hand with STOP facing traffic - Hold flag at shoulder height with left hand pointing towards road centre - When oncoming vehicles has slowed, turn sign to GO and lower flag behind left leg behind the sign.

STOP/GO Procedures

STOP/GO ProceduresFlags may be attached to sign frames so that the flag movement and visual impact draws attention to the sign.

Flags may be attached to sign frames so that the flag movement and visual impact draws attention to the sign.

To enhance the 'Warning Traffic' message a flagman may use two flags and draw attention to signs.

To enhance the 'Warning Traffic' message a flagman may use two flags and draw attention to signs.

Traffic Management

Download Traffic Management Diagram

  1. PRE ADVANCE WARNING (600m - 1.5km)
    • optional
    • warning or information signs 2km
       
  2. ADVANCE WARNING AREA (60m - 300m)
    • regulatory and warning signs
    • NO special action from drivers
       
  3. TRANSITION AREA (100m - 300m)
    • ACTION required from drivers
    • possible unstable flow on exit
       
  4. STABILISING AREA (60m - 300m)
    • flow stabilises
    • worker protection
    • the optional advance warning area
       
  5. SECOND TRANSITION AREA (100m - 300m)
    • ACTION required from drivers
    • dependant on site
    • possible unstable flow on exit
       
  6. STABILISING AREA (500m - 15km)
    • flow stabilises
    • worker protection
       
  7. WORK AREA (300m - 400m)
    • reduced clearances
    • opposing traffic
    • overtaking opportunity treatment may be required with increasing length
       
  8. ADVANCE WARNING AREA IN WORK AREA (60m - 300m)
    • limited space
    • regulatory and warning signs
       
  9. TRANSITION AREA (100m - 300m)
    • ACTION required from drivers
    • possible unstable flow
       
  10. STABILISING AREA (500m - 15km)
    • flow stabilises
    • worker protection
       
  11. WORK AREA
    • reduced clearances
    • opposing traffic
    • overtaking opportunity treatment may be required with increasing length
       
  12. TERMINATION AREA
    • return to normal flow
    • possible driver ACTION
    • possible unstable flow

SHORT TERM WORKS

SHORT TERM WORKS

Download Short Term Works Diagram

Partial Lane Closure:

  1. Sign spacings should be increased for operating speeds over 80 km/h
  2. The imposition of a temporary speed limit should be considered if operating speeds are in excess of 80 km/h
  3. A minimum clear lane width of 3,2 m is recommended in the work zone (excluding space required for cones).
  4. Full-length tapers should be provided appropriate to speed - see table 13.5

Lane Closure:

  1. Flagmen should be able to see each other or be issued with two-way radios.
  2. Apply temporary STOP line markings RTM1 using removable tape.

Contract Specifications 13.6

Include requirements in Construction Health and Safety Specifications;

  • Contractor prices as per requirements
  • Itemised pricing
    • Temporary signs – rate per sign (as per SANS)
    • Delineators plates and stands
    • Traffic cones
    • Barricades
    • Flashing lights
    • Road markings – rate per width, colour, type etc
    • Sandbags
    • Cleaning / maintenance

Also view

Safe driving in areas of Road Construction / Road Works

Road works and Road Safety

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