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How Construction Signs Protect Road Workers

July 17, 2018

A construction sign ahead of traffic is commonly needed in construction areas to protect workers from getting struck by vehicles. These signs come in various colors and shapes, but are generally orange or yellow, which are colors that drivers instantly associate with caution.

Why Construction Signs are Needed

One out of every five worker deaths in 2016 were in the construction industry, according to OSHA. Many of these deaths were caused by workers getting struck by vehicles, but a certain percentage of construction worker accidents were also associated with safety violations by the workers themselves. However, worker deaths are down significantly since 1970 due to increased emphasis on safety standards enforced by OSHA. Posting more warning signs about construction work in progress does have a positive impact on reminding both drivers and workers about the dangers.

Types of Road Work Signs

  • Danger: Construction Area – Keep Out (rectangle)
  • Road Work Ahead (orange diamond)
  • Utility Work Ahead (orange diamond)
  • Construction Ahead (orange diamond)
  • Caution: Construction Area – Authorized Personnel Only (yellow rectangle)
  • Detour Ahead (yellow diamond)
  • Men Working (orange diamond)
  • Construction Sign Ahead (custom)
  • End Construction (orange rectangle)

Other Safety Measures

In addition to posting signs near road or construction work, contractors can use portable signs with warning messages that can easily move from project to project. Barricades and pylons add even more safety to the personnel, as they help influence more careful driving. One of the most effective deterrents to speeding in these areas is to post a sign that reminds drivers of excessive fines for not following regulatory signs. Including the dollar amount of the fine helps communicate the importance of complying with regulations.

Your area may have special conditions that call for a customized sign. The construction work, for example, might involve fresh paving. Another reason to post a customized sign is if there is a specific alternate route designated for drivers. It’s also a good idea to let drivers know how long of a stretch of the road in which construction will be performed, especially if it’s for several miles.

The Federal Highway Administration is constantly working on new ways to make work zones safer by providing the transportation industry with tools and other resources for highway planning. Sign makers and businesses involved with construction also play a role in alerting drivers and workers and making roads safer. If your business needs to post any customized warning signs, make sure they comply with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). This manual can also be used for other construction work area guidelines, such as for tapers, flaggers, and hand-signaling procedures.

Many lives have been saved by posting a construction sign ahead of traffic. These signs remind drivers to slow down near road work and are often accompanied by warnings of how fines double in construction areas. Ultimately, the more warning signs, the more likely drivers will absorb the message and respond accordingly. For more information about road signs, call Zumar at our Arizona, California or Washington location.

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