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Traffic Exposure and Controls

Did you know that there are roughly 2,500 active TxDOT work zones in operation throughout Texas at any given time? As a result, the individuals who conduct day to day operations on the roadway have constant exposure to oncoming traffic. Without proper controls such as lane closures and trained traffic control personnel, the task of highway construction becomes complicated. Therefore it is essential to ensure all traffic control is set up according to specifications.

Work Zone Traffic Statistics*:

  • One in 10 workers is killed by oncoming traffic while flagging or performing traffic control duties.
  • There were 199 work zone fatalities which included 28 construction workers.
  • There was a total of 27,148 motor vehicle accidents involving works zones; 813 resulted in serious injuries.
  • There is one reportable motor vehicle accident every 59 seconds in the state of Texas.
*Texas, 2017

Work Zone Traffic Control:

  • Roadway construction is a continually changing environment, and it is essential that the traffic control setup
    changes with it. Continues monitoring of traffic control devices throughout the work day allows for a safer work
    zone. Assign an employee or multiple employees who monitor the lane closure throughout the workday.
  • Always be sure that traffic control personnel are adequately trained by a certified work zone traffic control
    trainer. TxDOT requires all flaggers to be certified before conducting flagging operations.
  • Be sure that advanced warning signs are correctly spaced and have not been knocked over by passing motorists
    or inclement weather conditions. All traffic control must be set up according to the Traffic control Plan, but be
    aware that TxDOT plans may have different traffic control requirements then the TMUTCD (Texas manual on
    uniform traffic control devices).
  • Consider the daily traffic count to determine the best time of day or night that is safest to have a lane closure.
    Hiring police officers to be present throughout day-to-day operations may create a safer work zone and minimize
    speeding and driver inattention.
Safety Share courtesy of Casey C. Silva, Safety Coordinator, Primoris Heavy Civil 

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