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Alerting Drivers with Construction Zone Safety Signs

April 22, 2019

Construction zones near roadways need plenty of orange or yellow signs to remind drivers to slow down for worker safety. Many worker deaths are related to collisions in construction zones. While signs cannot stop accidents, they contribute to reducing traffic fatalities, particularly in zones where work crews operate near traffic. Here are important points to keep in mind when planning construction zone safety signs.

Complying with OSHA Regulations

OSHA regulations determine size and color of signs. The government agency set more clearly defined standards for signs, signals, and barricades in 2002. These standards are published by the Federal Highway Administration’s FHWA Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). One of the new standards includes the use of retroreflective signs when projects take three days or longer. The reflective material makes the sign more visible at night. The size must be visible to drivers both day and night. Warning signs come in various sizes, but 10 inches by 7 inches is the most common size.

Maximizing Worker Protection

The best way to reduce accidents and traffic fatalities as much as possible is through appropriately placed signage. Bright colors are used to stand out regardless of the weather or time of day. Work zones tend to accompany a list of hazards that should be kept separate from pedestrians and drivers. Temporary dividers and barricades along with “Men At Work” and “Authorized Personnel Only” signs help separate the work crew from the public.

Any construction zone area requires signs that inform the public they must avoid coming near work crews. The work area should be set up so that workers have suffiicient space for mobility and to conduct maintenance work.

Developing a Work Zone Checklist

Whether a work zone is temporary or long-term, the contractor should have a thorough checklist of safety measures to ensure no one gets hurt on the job. Signs must be visible at all times, which means they must be inspected for cleaning and to make sure they haven’t been damaged by vandals. Contractors should also make sure that traffic control devices are tested and work properly.

Sometimes signs need to be repositioned as the work area changes. Signs are more visible when placed away from vegetation or shade. When temporary signs such as one way arrow boards are used, it’s important to check on sign placement to make sure the sign has not been moved by someone for their own personal purposes. By making out a full checklist contractors will be more organized and alert to situations that may affect safety.


Placing construction zone safety signs appropriately around road work areas is crucial for safe working conditions. Drivers usually do respond to orange and yellow warning signs that are placed where they can clearly be seen. Contact Zumar at our Arizona, California, or Washington office for more information about constuction zone signs and customized sign making.

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