During highway maintenance or construction, different types of accidents can occur because of losing control of the vehicle, driving into construction areas, falling into a hole or colliding with construction vehicles or other construction equipment. If you are responsible for supervising the construction or maintenance work, we suggest that you install barricades and warning devices. In this article, we are going to about the use of barricades and other warning devices to ensure the safety of a construction site.
In some cases, it’s enough to install a couple of signs to keep people away from the construction site. These signs should be made according to the given specifications for the site. In other words, they should be the right size, color, and shape. Otherwise, they won’t serve the purpose. For instance, if they are not big enough, people won’t be able to read them.
Install warning signs to let others know about the speed limit or one-lane traffic where needed. In these cases, warning signs will do the job.
In other cases, it’s important to install barricades as well. You can’t manage with warning signs alone. For instance, an open trench can be quite dangerous for workers as well as the public.
According to the OSHA standards, if excavation is deeper than 6 feet, it should be secured by installing barricades, fences or guardrail systems. This is even more important if the excavation can’t be seen due to different types of visual barriers like plan growth in order to prevent the employees from falling into the excavation.
You can choose from two types of barricades: the fence type and the horse type. They both are installed for different purposes. The fence barricade should be installed around heavy machinery or equipment. It’s also used as a roadblock. The horse type is used for numerous purposes.
For better visibility, make sure the barricades are properly striped. Ideally, they should be 6-inch wide and should have an inclination at 45 degrees angle from the horizontal.
Types of Accidents include:
- Driving into work sites
- Driving into fresh excavations
- Pedestrians falling into excavations
- Running into other vehicles
- Colliding with different types of construction machines like trucks and forklifts
If you want to prevent these types of accidents, you must install barricades. For this purpose, you should choose from different types of barricades and install them properly around the job sites.
Barricades may include the following protection systems/techniques:
- Snow fence
- Saw horses
- Danger tape
- Flashing lights
- Channeling devices like barrier walls
- Caution tape
After you have made a list of the types of barricades you need, your next move is to consider other important barricading items before installation. Listed below are some of the important items you need:
Consider installing important barricading items. Some of them are listed below:
- Before the excavation begins, install the right type of warning systems
- Install fences, guardrails, and barricades around the excavations that are near paths, roads, walkways, and other traffic areas
- Install regular bridges, walkways or guardrails for the general public so that they can cross excavations easily and safely.
- Install barricades or some other types of protection obtained from the underground utilities
- Install fences or barricades on the excavations left unattended so that no pedestrians fall in the excavations accidentally. If the excavations are far away from a city or residential area, you may also use warning tape or posts as barricades.
- If the area is highly traveled, you may install physical barriers like fences in order to isolate the excavations
- Install the right type of barricades around the construction site in order to control pedestrian and vehicular traffic
- Install an appropriate warning system like stop logs, hand/mechanical signal or a barricade when running mobile equipment near the edge of excavations.
It’s important to keep in mind that you can always improve or move barricades based on the situation. From the safety and security point of view, installing barricades is of paramount importance. Therefore, you may want to install barricades to prevent accidents around excavation sites.