Work Zone Vehicle Safety: An Inside Job

A worker in a construction work zone is just as likely to suffer injuries or fatality resulting from equipment located inside the work zone as by passing traffic. Eliminating the risk of accidents in the work zone is not only essential to worker health and safety, but because the work zone can be more easily controlled than traffic outside the work zone, it is well worth the time and effort invested to protect workers. Use these recommendations from OSHA for vehicle safety inside the work zone: 
  • Unattended equipment remaining in the work zone at night must have appropriate lights or reflectors, or barricades equipped with appropriate lights or reflectors to identify the location of the equipment.
  • Vehicles with cabs must have windshield wipers and operable defogging/defrosting devices.
  • All vehicles must have headlights and brake lights in working condition.
  • Vehicles must be equipped with audible horns.
  • Any vehicle with an obstructed rear view must have a back-up alarm. Vehicles not having back-up alarms must only be backed up when an observer signals that it is safe to do so.
  • All cab glass must be safety glass, or an equivalent that introduces no visible distortion affecting the safe operation of the machine.
  • Vehicles used to transport workers must have as many seats as there are people and all occupants must wear seat belts.
  • Operators of excavators and backhoes must wear seats belts when seated in the normal seating arrangement for tractor operation.