Traffic management is a crucial aspect of construction site safety which is covered by a post on Sourceable.net.
While each site will differ, aspects that need to be considered include whether there is traffic on or near construction sites and what type of traffic there is (cars, trucks, forklifts, excavators, motorcycles, cyclists, pedestrians etc.).
Wherever there is traffic movement, injuries can occur especially where pedestrians and vehicles collide, so it’s important to keep them separated. Accidents commonly occur when vehicles reverse or where loading and unloading occur.
The article on Sourceable.net asked the questions, what are the challenges in traffic management, what are common mistakes and what does a good traffic management plan look like?
Trevor Waugh, co-founder of Melbourne-based traffic engineering firm onemilegrid explained that some of the biggest challenges come with loading zones at CBD sites. Mr Waugh went on to state,
“Whenever we develop a traffic management plan we consider all the road users and all the users in the area,” Waugh said. “So if I was developing a traffic management plan within the CBD or from within any site really, I would first look at what is required from the construction zone, loading zone or work zone area from the viewpoint of the actual construction workers or the builders.”
He also went on to warn us about the importance of roadside safety to ensure construction management plans takes into consideration the safety of the public, pedestrians and motorists that may be driving alongside the site.
He goes on to explain:
“The biggest challenge that I find is making sure that you consider all the road users so pedestrians, cyclists, public transport, trams within the CBD, and then obviously the construction vehicle traffic and making sure that any conflicts between any of those users are appropriately addressed as part of that traffic management plan.”
One of the common mistakes Mr Waugh said he came across was the use of generic designs without actually visiting the site to assess existing conditions can cause problems where unexpected issues crop up.
Another concern is the incorrect installation of signs or protective barriers, or those that aren’t installed according to the plan.
Site controllers also need to take into consideration the changing stages of the construction project. Different stages can bring with them different challenges and will require different controls.
The writer also notes that according to Safe Work Australia, these are critical steps to managing traffic on construction sites:
- Keep pedestrians and vehicles apart, including on site and when vehicles enter and exit the workplace
- Minimise vehicle movements
- Eliminate the need for vehicles to reverse or minimise the risks
- Ensure vehicles and pedestrians are visible to each other
- Use traffic signs
- Develop and follow a traffic management plan