Safe On The Job – A Reflective Vest For Road Workers

reflective safety vest

Every year thousands of road workers are killed or injured throughout the world.  There are many ways that these injuries and fatalities can be reduced.  One of the major problems is visibility.  Motorists have a habit of ignoring speed limits, especially slow limits around road works.  The work men on site need to be highly visible to the motorist and must highly visible clothing like a reflective vest or belt.  Studies have been done in the UK and the US which show that high visibility gear is not enough to protect the workers, they need to wear reflective gear as well as high visibility clothing


MAJOR CAUSES OF ACCIDENTS AT ROAD WORKS

1.  Speed is the number one culprit.

2. Drivers of vehicles are so busy chatting on their cell phones, listening to music or having a conversation with a passenger, that they don’t give themselves enough time to merge in with the traffic.

3. Drivers are always in a rush and want to get to the front of the queue.  They drive right up to where the road works begin, in the hope that someone will let them into the queue.  If they don’t, they are now forced to enter the road works, putting the lives of the workers at risk.

4. Drivers have a habit of ignoring people who are trying to slow them down and tell them they need to move into another lane.  The only thing on their mind, is getting where they going as quickly as possible.

5.  Signage which is put up far too close to the road works so it doesn’t give the driver time to take a suitable course of action and signage which is confusing to the driver.

6.  Poor lighting and lack of reflective clothing for the workers.


SOLUTIONS FOR ROAD WORKERS

1. Educate the road workers, so they are able to put up adequate signage and lighting and wear high visibility gear such as a reflective safety vest.  Teach them how to control the traffic with the appropriate hand or flag signals.

2. Keep the signs clean.

3. At major road work sites, have visible speed traps and enforce the law rigorously.

4. Ensure that the speed limit that is set is a realistic one.  If it is too low, then motorists will probably disregard it.

5. If the road works are to be in place for a considerable amount of time, advertise the fact on radio and in the newspapers.  This will enable motorists to add extra time onto their journeys and save unexpected frustration.


SOLUTIONS FOR MOTORISTS

1. Put your headlights on when approaching road works.

2. Keep your speed down and adhere to the speed limit.

3. Take note of the instructions from the workmen and don’t ignore them.  If you are told to stop, then stop.

4. If you need to merge into another lane, indicate and wait for someone to let you in.

5. Do not talk on your cell phone, eat or drink or perform any other action which may distract you, when you are travelling through an area with road construction.

Above all, be aware of everything around you and keep a lookout for obstructions on the road and the workers who are improving that road for you.

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