Traffic and Road Safety at Street Works: What You Need to Know
Posted by bradley bishop on
Under the terms of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, all employers in the United Kingdom must take responsibility for the health and safety of their workers. This means making all reasonable and appropriate efforts to ensure your employees are protected from harm, even when working on potentially hazardous projects.
Enacted in October 2014, the Department for Transport’s Safety at Street Works and Road Works Code of Practice outlines how those working on roadworks or street works projects must proactively safeguard their employees. Likewise, it is the responsibility of those in charge of such projects to ensure the site is safe for pedestrians, cyclists and road users in general.
Specifically, the Code provides a detailed overview of how barriers, cones and other visibility tools should be utilised by those conducting projects in public spaces.
Some of the most important guidelines of which are as follows:
The Code clearly states that pedestrian barriers must feature a handrail at a height of 1m to 1.2m, which is stable, smooth and strong enough to guide pedestrians traversing the space. It must also feature a tapping rail with a depth of at least 15 centimetres, along with a disability panel at least 15 centimetres in depth. Modular barriers must be connected to create an unbroken barricade, separating the area of work from the pedestrian path. It is also a requirement for all pedestrian barriers to be strong enough to withstand Class C (8.7m/s) winds coming from any direction.
It is the responsibility of the site manager to take all reasonable measures to ensure the safety of the site is not compromised through theft, tampering or deliberate damage to safety barriers. In the event that such activities are believed to have compromised safety - either for the public or the workforce - the site manager is responsible for addressing the issues at the earliest possible juncture.
The use of speed ramps can be an extremely effective method for calming and controlling traffic, though must be installed in accordance with strict governmental guidelines. Examples of which include providing appropriate signage to warn of upcoming speed bumps, ensuring the speed bumps are suitably visible and using the right types of speed bumps in accordance with speed limits, congestion levels and so on.
There are even strict regulations with regard to how and where traffic cones can be used in public places. All traffic cones must conform to TSRGD standards in terms of size and shape, and are required to be kept clean and in good condition at all times. Traffic cones that are damaged or have damage to their reflective sleeves are prohibited from use on public roads.
Ask the Experts…
Safety should always be your priority, but the importance of complying with all applicable regulations and guidelines cannot be overstated. If unsure, seek clarification to avoid potential penalties, should you unknowingly break the rules.
For more information on any of the above or to discuss your requirements in more detail, contact a member of the team at Street Solutions UK today.