Any construction work is risky but when you combine the risks involved with work on the road it is even more so. Not only are construction workers at risk but passing motorists can also be caught in the crossfire of any safety incidents that may occur. An accident which took place in Buffalo, in the USA is an example of this.
A man has been accused of vehicular assault and drug charges after his actions set off a chain reaction accident in a construction zone. The man hit into the back of the vehicle in front of him as they were stopped at the road construction site. That vehicle subsequently hit into the tractor in front of it.
The following explains what happened:
Robert Frost, 38, of Angola, was behind the wheel of sports utility vehicle stopped behind a tractor trailer driven by Samuel Fixico, 27, of Sanborn while merging into the construction zone at about 10 p.m. Thursday, troopers said.
Bryan P. Mackinnon’s vehicle hit the SUV from behind, pushing it into the back of the tractor-trailer, troopers said.
Frost, Mackinnon and his passenger, Patrick D. Slisz, 27, of Blasdell, were taken to Erie County Medical Center, where they were treated and released. Fixico wasn’t injured.
Troopers reported finding 31.9 grams of marijuana in Mackinnon’s car.
In addition to the felony vehicular assault charge, Mackinnon, 36, was charged with a misdemeanor count of criminal possession of marijuana, as well as driving while ability impaired by drugs, following too closely and unsafe speed in a work zone, troopers said. Slisz was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession.
Although as a workman you have little control over the actions of public motorists there are some things that you can do to make your site and ultimately yourself safer.
Perhaps one of the most important issues, if not the most important is advanced warning for motorists. Motorists need to be made aware in advance that they will be approaching a construction site and they need to slow down accordingly. By not warning them in advance, workers are being endangered especially if motorists continue at high speeds and fail to brake in time to avoid an accident.
To control the risks associated with working on roads or road-related areas, consider road closures, footpath closures, detours and signage. Also periodically drive through the worksite to check that all signs, markings and delineation devices intended to warn road users are satisfactory and in their correct position.
Ensure that all workers are clear of the work area during lunch breaks and work breaks. Also ensure that mobile plant and heavy machinery are parked clear of the traffic lanes.
Remove or cover signs such as “Traffic Controller Ahead” if workers leave the site or work is on hold. Also instruct traffic controllers to remain on the job where there are traffic hazards, or where only one lane is open to traffic.
Reposition barriers, signs and tapers as necessary to adjust the length of single lane traffic operation, keeping it to a minimum. Keep records of any changes made, and the time these occurred. Also make sure you coordinate the maintenance of the travelled path with other job operations.