Carrying out works alongside roads and highways introduces a significantly heightened level of risk, both for workforces and members of the public.
To ensure the works are completed safely, contractors must follow the Department for Transport’s Safety at Street Works and Road Works Code of Practice.
The Problock team has created this helpful guide to summarise the requirements of the Code of Practice to ensure you have a better understanding of the most suitable ways to implement safe working practices when working on the roadside and highways.
Workforce Training & Management
One of the key responsibilities for managers of construction teams or workforces positioned adjacent to roads is to ensure that every member of staff has received the right type and level of training.
Correct training applies equally to managers and operatives, including those responsible for traffic control and site planning.
Critical parts of the planning process include:
- Liaising with the highways authority and other statutory bodies in advance to ensure the right licenses, approvals and traffic regulation orders are in place.
- Risk assessing the site to include signage, lighting and guarding.
- Planning safe traffic control measures, such as temporary concrete barriers to restrict access to the worksite.
Having the right equipment is also vital; street works or road works must be well signed, correctly guarded and appropriately lit. High visibility clothing is also often required for workers and should always be made available.
Road Works Protective Measures
The primary risk of street works is that workers and operatives will be close to moving vehicles and sometimes pedestrians and other road users.
The work being carried out should, therefore, be planned to cause as little disruption as possible, but it is also imperative to ensure that protective measures are in place.
Essential safeguarding equipment should be implemented, such as:
- Clear separation of working spaces – both from the road itself and from parking and storage areas. This protects worker safety and establishes a safety zone where moving equipment is controlled.
- Traffic barriers – these are essential to ensure that vehicles can clearly see the work site, and are directed around it safely.
- Cones and lighting – these provide a highly visible indicator that a work area is approaching. Cones should be positioned in lead-in tapers, exit tapers and safety zones, with retro-reflective sleeves for nighttime visibility. Warning lights are also often identified in the risk assessment process.
When planning road works protection, it is essential to consider all road users, as well as vehicles. These include:
- Equestrian routes
- Public transport
Key Factors in Choosing Street Works Safety Equipment
Every site is unique and will require a detailed risk assessment to mitigate any risk factors.
As such, there are different criteria to bear in mind when selecting the right safety equipment for your street works or road works project.
Some of the most significant variables are:
- The speed limit of the road.
- How much visibility is therefore required before and beyond the worksite.
- Whether there are junctions or pedestrian crossings within the site area.
- The anticipated traffic flow.
- Size and layout of the worksite.
- How long the works are anticipated to take.
- The number of workers on site.
Some road work sites may require temporary one-way traffic flow control, where it is not possible to conduct works without impacting the carriageway.
Others will require temporary closures of footways, complete road closures, or convoy systems to filter traffic safely past the area of work.
In any scenario, it is essential to conduct risk assessments well in advance of the schedule of work to identify the right road safety equipment required and to ensure that your planning follows the requirements of the Safety at Street Works and Road Works legislation.
Problock Street Works and Road Works
Problock supplies a range of safety equipment and offers a no-obligation quotation service free of charge. Our expert team can help recommend the right safeguards for your site, and to support you in selecting the best protective equipment.
Problock road safety services include:
- Boundary and perimeter security for sites.
- Public space protection.
- Parking and traffic management.
Our range of concrete barrier hire services cater to any number of site layouts with precast concrete barriers for protecting work sites, and jersey barriers which are ideally suited to traffic rerouting and management during construction works.
The Problock concrete barrier options best suited to road work sites are:
- Temporary vertical concrete barriers to protect workers and pedestrians.
- Interlocking jersey barriers ideal for traffic management.
If in any doubt about the right concrete barriers to hire for your planned works, get in touch and we will be happy to advise.
Problock Road Works Safety
Problock provides road safety solutions to every UK sector, including construction businesses, police authorities, emergency services, nationwide property owners and large enterprises.
Our delivery service is fast, and installation is carried out by our professional team to ensure your works can begin without delay.
With years of experience in the road safety sector, Problock understands the pressures of risk mitigation, and is on hand to ensure you have the right safety solutions in place.