Pedestrian crossing

How Pedestrians are Kept Safe During Roadworks

Pedestrian protection is a priority for any roadworks site, big or small. There are many potential hazards to pedestrians that need to be mitigated to run a successful site and this can only be achieved by an experienced and diligent traffic management service provider such as TSL. In this blog, we go over the hazards that pedestrians face at roadworks and the ways that we can protect the public from these dangers.

The Importance of Pedestrian Protection

There will always be some degree of traffic and pedestrian disruption when undertaking construction on a road, whether that is asphalt resealing, road modifications, or facility repairs. With this disruption comes higher levels of risk to standard road users like cars and buses. These dangers also pose an especially high risk to pedestrians if not managed appropriately. Large and high-powered machinery, unfamiliar road layouts, hazardous materials and waste, and service vehicles moving around can all harm pedestrians moving through the area.

An accident involving a pedestrian can have massive implications for a roadworks project, with liability, emotional harm of the pedestrian and the workers, slowing of the project, and more. Therefore, it is critically important to hire a company that has a good track record of providing high-quality traffic management services and give your project certainty.

Good Traffic Management Planning

At the beginning of a roadworks project, it is essential that your traffic management services company engages in highly detailed planning. This comes in the form of a “Traffic Management Plan” (TMP). The traffic management plan comes in two parts:

  1. Proforma: The proforma details the specifics of the work being done during the roadworks project. This will include details on the exact location, key dates/times of works, who is completing the work, the methodology, speed limit info, and contact details of those involved.
  2. Traffic Management Diagram: The TMD is a drawing of the physical layout of the site and temporary traffic management products and equipment for the planning approver to review. If done well by the traffic management service provider, this will be approved and you can begin your roadworks.

Getting a traffic management plan submitted and approved is the first step in ensuring pedestrian safety. The measures described in the plan must adhere to the safety requirements of the Code of Practice for Temporary Traffic Management (CoPTTM), which is the standardised document that informs best safety practice for traffic management.

So, what are some of the measures that we take to keep pedestrians safe as the roadworks get underway?

Reducing Vehicle Speed

One of the most common forms of pedestrian injuries sustained at roadworks is vehicle vs pedestrian accidents. These will typically occur due to the vehicle travelling at a speed not suitable for the changed and unfamiliar environment. With the driver going too fast, they potentially won’t be able to react fast enough if a pedestrian unexpectedly comes into a lane, or if they come to a temporary lane switch that was not present before the roadworks began. Lowering the speed limit creates a much safer environment for pedestrians by leaving larger margins for error in a more hazardous environment.

Good Visibility and Lighting

Road workers, pedestrians, and road users must be kept aware of their surroundings to avoid unnecessary accidents. Planning the worksite so that crucial areas are not blocked from view ensures that pedestrians do not stumble into an area with potential hazards or move into a lane meant for traffic. Roadworks can often be undertaken at night as well, so making sure the general area is sufficiently lit is essential to avoiding mistakes.

Clear Signage

Clear information is key to keeping a worksite safe. Laid out in the CoPTTM are the different signage systems used for a whole host of different environments. Signs that show splits in traffic, warning signs to make pedestrians more vigilant in high-risk zones, and temporary speed limit signs all play a huge role in organising and informing the public to avoid harm.

Clearly Separate Traffic and Pedestrian Zones

Vehicle vs pedestrian accidents can be avoided by using traffic management products such as safety cones, temporary bollards, portable traffic signs, and road markings. Separating pedestrian walking zones from the traffic areas eliminates the riskiest elements of temporary roadworks, providing peace of mind to road users, pedestrians, and temporary traffic management workers.

Clean and Organised Worksites

An unprepared or inexperienced traffic management company might make the mistake of not keeping their worksite tidy throughout the day. With the nature of roadworks, there is often a lot of specialised equipment and hazardous material that needs to be correctly organised. If these items are not organised, they can begin to intersect with the pedestrian zones, causing tripping and contamination hazards. Avoid this by hiring a traffic management service provider who has a track record of successful projects, such as the team at TSL.

Keeping Workers Well-Trained

All the planning in the world won’t keep a roadwork site safe for pedestrians if the site is not managed and operated by diligent professionals. Our team at TSL has many years of experience behind them and go through regular rigorous training on the latest in best safety practice. This helps to mitigate dangerous human error on the worksite and keep pedestrians safe.

Communication Systems

Especially for large roadworks sites, having robust communication systems in place is a must for a safe and non-disruptive worksite. Radio communication can be used for immediate contact between managers and workers, allowing for sudden adjustments that may be needed on the day-to- day running of the site. This could be the arrival of a heavy vehicle bearing material for the job or it could be the allowing of traffic through a designated area as the roadworks move onto a secondary stage.

Contact TSL Group for Traffic Management Services

If you are undertaking a roadworks project and want to prioritise the safety of the job, get in touch with New Zealand’s leading traffic management service provider, TSL Group. We supply the traffic management products, planning, experience, and diligence you’ll need to see the job through safely and effectively. Contact our friendly team today to find out how we can manage your project.