Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

On-Site Traffic – Don’t Get Run Over!
Posted by David Cant on November 6, 2014

On-Site Traffic – Don’t Get Run Over!

Stop Accidents Road SignJust last month a major UK construction was fined £100,000 for allowing on-site traffic conditions which saw an unfortunate worker get hit by a 9-tonne dumper truck.  On average 7 workers a year are killed on construction sites by vehicles every year, it’s the second most common cause of injury after falls!

Of course every site has plenty of vehicles and workers moving to and fro, but we all have to organize that traffic flow, or accidents will and do happen.  In the case above it was a delivery driver who was struck while delivering a mortar silo even though he wore high-visibility clothing.

And it was an easily avoidable accident.

No planned walkway

The problem was there wasn’t a clearly segregated, defined area for on-foot workers to cross the site safely.  The principal contractor hadn’t put any suitable traffic management plan to make sure pedestrians and vehicles stayed apart.

A bit of forethought and planning will make sure you never have the same problem.

“Workplace transport incidents are the second most common cause of serious and fatal incidents in the construction industry,” said HSE Inspector Jonathan Harris. “Yet they can easily be avoided by having proper plans in place and provision for pedestrians on site.”

Six keys to safe traffic

  1. Keep ‘em apart!

Most problems are like the one above – they’re just not separated.

You can do this by having separate entrances and exits, firm, safe, direct, unblocked pedestrian walkways, clearly signed and lit crossings where necessary.  Make sure driver visibility is always excellent and unblocked, especially when moving out onto roads.  And where you can, install a barrier between roadways and walkways.

  1. Minimise vehicle movement

You’ll have to use your imagination here.  Think of every time a vehicle has to move, and how can you reduce it.

For example, landscaping can reduce the quantities of fill or spoilt movement.  And you can limit the number of vehicles on site by separating parking space from the site, controlling entry to the work areas and planning storage areas so delivery guys like the poor man above don’t need to cross the site.

  1. Hire good drivers

Rather simple this one.  Hire great, well-qualified drivers.  And train them up too.  Most accidents happen when untrained or unqualified drivers get behind the wheel.

  1. Reduce the need to reverse

Reversing vehicles cause the greatest risk, so make sure all vehicles can turn around on-site.   And turn without reversing – a turning circle can solve that problem.

  1. Keep visibility high

Do all you can to keep them seeing clearly.  You can give aids to the drivers, like CCTV cameras, mirrors and reversing alarms.  Have trained signalers to help out.  Install great lighting and make sure everyone is wearing high-visibility clothing too.

  1. Have clear signs and instructions

All routes and rules for on-site moving about should be really clearly understood by everyone on site.  And make sure those rules are simple and crystal clear too.  If any visitors are coming on site make sure they have training too.

And with all these in place, you’ll have a nice accident-free site I’m sure!

Your Key Takeaways

–        Seven people a year are killed on construction sites by traffic

–        The number one thing to do is clearly separate pedestrian and vehicle movement

–        You should also minimize vehicle movement on-site, hire and train great drivers, reduce any need to reverse, keep visibility high and have crystal clear signs and instructions

Got any questions about on-site traffic?

Ask away, it’s what I’m here for!


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

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