Know your Traffic Safety Equipment
Accidents often occur in parking lots, intersections and other areas where pedestrians and vehicles meet. To reduce the risk of accidents, it is essential to use the appropriate traffic safety equipment.
If you work in construction, traffic safety becomes a top priority. In Australia, there are worksite safety regulations and standards. However, to be safe, it might be a good idea to go above and beyond these minimum recommendations. At a construction worksite, there will be heavy vehicles coming in and out, uneven surfaces, blind corners, shared areas and distracting noises. If not handled properly, all of this can easily lead to many serious accidents.
To help you create a safe working environment, we’ve created a list of common traffic safety equipment suitable for car parks, work sites and general traffic management.
Bollards are the posts that you often see at parking lots or open areas where vehicles and pedestrians mix. Their function is to create a protective perimeter around a specific area. Bollards are mainly used to prevent vehicles from accessing certain areas or paths. Unlike barriers, bollards allow pedestrians to pass through but not vehicles.
Some bollards are removable, featuring a chain or a simple padlock. This feature allows authorised drivers to access exclusive areas like private parking lots or private streets. There are also flexible bollards, retractable and automated bollards, impact protection bollards and more.
Bollards are generally made of metal but they can also be cement or plastic.
You might see convex mirrors at convenience stores or pharmacies. However, they are also used at worksites and parking lots to help drivers spot hazards in their blind spots.
Convex mirrors are often placed near a tight corner. It works two ways: it helps pedestrians see oncoming vehicles and it helps drivers see oncoming pedestrians.
These mirrors can also be placed in open areas where there is limited visibility. This might include warehouses, construction sites or school entrances. They can also be installed on large vehicles like trucks or forklifts. The bulky nature of these vehicles often make it difficult to navigate narrow worksites. With convex mirrors, drivers will be able to see pedestrians or smaller vehicles in their blind spots.
Tactile indicators are what you see at pedestrian crossings and train stations. They are a raised, textured surface that often feature a bright yellow colour. Their function is to warn pedestrians of ledges, tripping hazards or steps.
The texture (usually in the form of truncated domes or raised bars) and the loud colours are implemented to help those with impaired vision to navigate facilities. It also helps guide pedestrians when weather conditions cause low visibility.
In Australia, all public buildings must have tactile indicators. It helps pedestrians avoid areas they shouldn’t be in and warn them of potential hazards.
When on the road, there are so many hazards to keep track of. Traffic signs help remind drivers of hazards that they should look out for. This reduces road accidents as it warns drivers of upcoming bends, road conditions, intersections, changing speed limits and crossings.
Like with tactile indicators, visibility is a crucial factor when it comes to signs. After all, pedestrians and drivers can’t follow a sign that they can’t see. It’s a good idea to use reflective signs so that drivers can see them even at night.
A sign with LED lights is also a viable alternative. These types of lights can be programmed to flash whenever a vehicle or a pedestrian comes close, adding another layer of visibility. LED lights can also be visible during extreme conditions like stormy nights or foggy mornings.
Sometimes, signs aren’t enough to keep people out. In such a situation, it’s probably best to use barriers. Barriers can block off open areas, roads and footpaths. It allows construction crews to work onsite without having to worry about pedestrian disruption.
There are many different types of barriers. There’s the economy barrier board which is suitable for public events like concerts and festivals. It is generally used for crowd control and containing pedestrian flow. These barriers are often painted black and yellow for visibility.
There’s also folding barricade steel legs. These are used in worksites, air zones and certain city areas. They usually feature orange and white stripes to warn pedestrians of closures or restricted areas.
If a construction crew is working in a city or in a crowded area, sometimes pedestrian traffic is unavoidable. In such a case, the worksite and the public pedestrian path must be marked clearly. This can be done with cones, barriers, signs or fences.
Safety should always be your number one concern. To keep your drivers and workers safe, consider the equipment that we’ve listed above. Could you use one of these in your upcoming construction project? If you’re unsure, you can always consult traffic equipment providers for advice.