Each day, workers perform their jobs on the many roadsides throughout New Jersey. These workers must deal with many dangers, including low visibility, bad weather and distracted drivers. What’s worse is that on-the-job deaths among roadside workers far outnumber many occupations. Fortunately, knowing how to work safely can help prevent worker injuries and fatalities.
How roadside workers can stay protected at work
Before starting a job that has you working on roadsides, your employer should provide adequate safety training. A company also typically outfits their workers with safety gear, enforcing that these people can only work while wearing the proper attire.
While you engage in roadside work, you can stay safe by:
- Setting up cones, flares or similar objects near your worksite.
- Give yourself adequate natural or artificial lighting to work safely.
- Stay away from the paths of machinery.
Studying the effectiveness of roadside worker protection
Cones, flares, and lights can help prevent car accidents involving roadside workers. The Foundation for Traffic Safety (FTS) compared these safety items to study which one is most effective at getting other drivers to slow down and change lanes for roadside workers.
The results of the FTS study found that cones and flares were ineffective at warning drivers to slow down or change lanes. However, nighttime or daytime lights combined with flares provided the most slowdowns and lane changes among drivers. In most cases, adding roadside cones did little to get drivers to slow down or move over.
No job is worth risking your life. That’s why companies must do everything to ensure employees are working in a safe environment. Documenting and reporting safety violations could be beneficial if your workplace is unsafe.