Road construction is an ongoing process. Whether you are constructing a new road or repairing an existing roadway, traffic needs to be slowed and controlled in work zones. Specialized employees that are commonly referred to as "flaggers" are responsible for alerting drivers to the presence of a work zone and regulating the flow of traffic through the work zone.
Flaggers need to have access to important safety equipment that ensures they are seen by drivers to protect themselves, construction workers, and the drivers on the road.
1. Safety Vests
One of the most basic pieces of work zone equipment is a safety vest. The vest is worn over the top of the flagger's clothing and is outfitted with several strips of reflective fabric. Orange or yellow are the most common colors used for safety vests. These colors quickly capture the attention of motorists.
The reflective fabric on a safety vest refracts any light that comes into contact with the employee. This reflected light creates a beacon that lets drivers know exactly where flaggers are standing at all times.
2. Two-Sided Paddles
You have probably seen a flagger holding a sign that directs drivers to either come to a complete stop or proceed through the work zone slowly. These signs are known as paddles, and they are vital to the safety of everyone located inside of a construction work zone.
The best paddles are the ones that read "STOP" on one side and "SLOW" on the other. Manning a single paddle is much easier than trying to switch between paddles when traffic patterns change. Reaching down to pick up another paddle could make a flagger invisible to a passing motorist.
The risk of having a motorist move into the work zone too early or having a driver hit the flagger increases when multiple paddles are used.
3. Traffic Cones
Another piece of safety equipment that you need for work zone employees is a set of traffic cones. Brightly colored orange cones can be used to create new lanes or change the traffic pattern without confusing drivers.
It's best to have cones that are outfitted with reflective stripes so that they are easily visible in both day and night lighting.
The right equipment in a work zone can help keep everyone safe. Your flaggers need to have access to safety vests, two-sided paddles, and traffic cones to ensure that they are able to control traffic so that construction can be completed without incident. Contact a local equipment supplier like Stripes & Stops Company, Inc. to learn more.