Public Safety & Traffic Control During Tree Cutting

Public safety is everyone’s business, especially when it comes to tree work. The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re on the job is the safety of yourself and the community. Some major risks associated with public work sites can include pedestrians entering the work zone, vehicles colliding inside of a work zone and/or workers being struck by vehicles while working near traffic. Create a safer jobsite for your fellow arborists and the public by following these procedures:

Define Your Work Safety Zone

Establishing a safety work zone and drop zone for your worksite is the first step you should take. One of the most important things to keep in mind when working in areas with pedestrians or vehicles is to always be aware of unintentional entry into a work zone and don’t hesitate to close sidewalks if needed.
When working in public areas such as roads, ensure your team is following proper guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Transportation to define the safety zone.

Use Proper Equipment

Use of proper safety equipment can be the difference between safety and a preventable accident. When working on low-volume roads, your team should utilize safety zone cones to show drivers a safe path through your work zone. These cones should be separated by the same number of feet as the speed limit. So, if the speed limit is 20 mph, ensure your cones are spread 20 feet apart.
Additionally, take care to wear the proper safety equipment such as bright or reflective clothing and hardhats as directed by your general foremen. This will ensure vehicles can see you when working near the roadside.

Safe Flagging

To provide safe paths for traffic and pedestrians alike, utilize a properly trained flagger for the job. When your worksite blends into where oncoming traffic may be, a flagger and the appropriate signage are required to direct traffic around the work area. Your flagger should utilize the proper “stop” and “slow” signage to guide vehicles when necessary.
Take care to hinder traffic as little as possible while also putting safety first. And for the safety of your crew, don’t let vehicles park anywhere that may obscure the visibility of your worksite.

Stay Alert

Flaggers need to stay alert of their surroundings, taking care to keep an extra eye out for children, pets, and runners. Flaggers should always stand on the shoulder of the road with cones representing a flagger station.  Flaggers should never stand directly on the road in traffic.

Next time your crew is working in an area where traffic or the public may be present, ensure these procedures are being followed. Being mindful of your surroundings and taking extra care while on the job can help prevent avoidable injuries to you and those around you.
Posted: 12/17/2018 4:04:44 PM by Global Administrator