WorkSafe Victoria is reminding workers and the community to make safety a priority in and around roadside construction work after a recent inspection campaign revealed several safety issues at several sites such as inadequate signage for road users and a lack of protective devices for workers managing traffic in and around their workplace.
WorkSafe Executive Director Health and Safety, Marnie Williams urged employers, workers, and the public to take care as roadworks ramped up in many areas across Victoria.
“Roadwork activity is inherently high risk as it involves people working in close proximity to heavy machinery and traffic, often in hot, noisy and dusty conditions. Safety is paramount,” said Ms. Williams.
“For construction employers this means identifying specific site hazards before starting a project, communicating these to workers and ensuring appropriate traffic management plans are in place and followed by all workers and contractors at the site.
“For road users it means looking out for workers, being patient and obeying all directions when passing roadworks. It’s important to remember that the sites you see along the roadside are workplaces. Whether you’re a road worker or a road user, safety is everyone’s responsibility.”
Employers are urged to ensure that:
- A traffic management plan is in place, adhered to and regularly reviewed, and that all workers on site are aware of it including contractors entering the site through different stages of construction
- Worksites are well-lit, and that adequate signage and barriers exist to warn and direct traffic away from workers.
- Signage is located well in advance of the changed conditions and includes warning of changes to footpaths and bicycle lanes
- Adequate space is provided for plant set-up and vehicle operation, with appropriate traffic control measures to isolate these from general traffic
- The risks associated with installing, operating and removing traffic control devices are addressed
- Environmental conditions such as heat are closely monitored to prevent illness among employees