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Using Signs to Make Construction Zones Safe

January 15, 2019

Driving through a construction zone is a reminder that sometimes signs and road conditions can be temporary. At any given time any city street might be part of a construction zone due to upgrading. Here are points to remember about construction zone signs.

Types of Construction Zone Signs

  • Danger – Construction Area – Authorized Personnel Only
  • Caution: Entering Construction Zone
  • Proceed At Your Own Risk
  • Begin Work Zone
  • Traffic Fines Double
  • Men Working
  • Be Prepared To Stop

Construction zone signs take on various forms, as some can either be hung on fences, attached to poles, or exist as portable units. Placing portable signs in strategic locations and then moving them when needed is an efficient way to create a more safe and productive work environment. The best possible investment in numerous signs involves selecting durable materials that are weather resistant and can be used in a variety of situations.

The construction industry accounts for over 17% of work-related deaths, according to the Organizational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). That’s why construction workers need constant reminders about work safety. When choosing a design for a safety sign, you should take into account OSHA’s standards. OSHA headers are added to signs to emphasize specific warnings. A warning header might say “immediate danger” or “special precautions are necessary.” Headers should be used to alert people about potential hazards or unsafe practices.

“Warning” and “Danger” Signs

The word “warning” must be used in cases where a hazardous situation can cause serious injury or death if precautions are not taken. Meanwhile, use of the word “danger” is more appropriate when a pedestrian can encounter deadly scenarios regardless of precautions taken. When using signs with the “warning” or “danger” heading, it’s best to give specific information as well, such as “authorized personnel only.”

Every construction site is supposed to provide exit and traffic signs. Traffic control signs must comply with the MUTCD regulations, as an exit sign is usually at least six inches tall and commonly uses red letters on a white background. The main point to keep in mind about a sign’s message is that it’s easy to read and understand.

Protecting Road Work Crew

One of the key reasons for posting various signs in a construction zone is to protect the personnel doing the maintenance work from opposing or nearby traffic. Bright signs go along with brightly colored clothing worn by construction workers to alert drivers about road work. Most of these signs have orange or yellow backgrounds with black text.

Since every work site is unique, contractors may need to make special signs for certain sites. At some sites, signs only need to communicate with professional personnel involved with construction, while other signs need to communicate warnings to the public. Some construction warning signs are directed at just drivers while others need to be seen by pedestrians, so that they are aware of flying debris or other conditions caused by construction work.


Construction companies need to protect their workers and the public with various work site signs. Contact us at Zumar to learn more about construction zone signs at our Arizona, California, or Washington location.

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