Safety Tips

Traffic Control Persons

Responsibilities for Safety

Being a traffic control person (TCP) is one of the most important positions on the jobsite.

They have the responsibility:

For directing traffic to protect the safety of the work crew
To direct the actions of motoring and pedestrian traffic for their safety and the safety of the work crew
Of looking after their own safety so that they can effectively look after their duties to protect the safety of the work crew and the public

Hazards of the Job

Traffic control people have the right to know what the hazards of the job are. Before starting the job a hazard assessment should be done. Things to look for would include but not be limited to:

Traffic volumes
Speed limits
Sight distances
Work process
The presence of pedestrian traffic
The tools and equipment including the signs
Proximity to other workers (working alone)
Road surface
Environmental conditions
Proximity of heavy equipment
Training competencies for traffic control persons

The position of traffic control person can be hazardous. To reduce the hazards the traffic control person must be in good physical shape with good vision and hearing. They need to be alert and aware of everything that is going on around them.

The Traffic Control Person and Public Relations

Everyday on the work site, the traffic control person is the most visible person to the public. It is critical that a positive image be projected. The TCP must be neat and clean and attired professionally. The equipment and tools they use should be clean and in good repair to give a good visual image of professionalism.

The TCP must take charge and, as much as possible, avoid delaying traffic unnecessarily. Avoid long conversations. Treat the public with respect. Be professional.

The Traffic Controller's Equipment

Legislation and the Owner client dictate the type of safety apparel that the TCP must wear. The following is a list of equipment for traffic control people:

A fluorescent red/orange hardhat
Appropriate protective foot wear
A safety vest with reflective strips both front and back
A 45-cm stop/slow paddle which should be equipped with a 1.6-m pole
Two flag person signs (Additional signage may be required depending on the circumstances.)
White coveralls or uniform
A log book and pen
Flashlight with a semi-transparent or fluorescent orange wand
Air horn or other warning device
Personal protective supplies such as insect repellant, sun screen
Communication devices
Rain gear

Safe Work Practices

Pre plan all traffic control sites
Plan an escape route
Stand alone
Never leave the station unattended
Never wave the paddle
Keep signs clean and in good condition
Remove or cover signs when not in use
Never stand or walk in the path of moving vehicles
No personal radios or other distractions at traffic control sites
Know what is happening
Check to make sure your signs are in place
Use eye contact to get driver's attention
Stay alert

Once the site is established, make sure that it is operating well. Hard braking, complaints about visibility from the public, and lack of response to the controls all mean that we should reassess the site to determine what improvements are required.

How to Prepare

Traffic control people need to make sure they are prepared by reviewing their training workbook. Be well rested and ready to work. Take plenty of fluids and make sure they have food with them to maintain their energy throughout the day.

Driving Through Work Areas

We can all help reduce the chance of accidents in the work zone. Pay attention to the signs. Obey all signs and signals. Reduce speed. Don't assume that there is no need to slow down. Sometimes the reason for a traffic control site is not immediately apparent. Nearly a third of all work-related deaths are related to traffic. Please don't become part of the statistics.