If your worksite has the potential to interfere with vehicular and pedestrian traffic, then you need to follow a traffic control plan (TCP). Depending on the state or territory that you’re in, the traffic control regulations that you need to follow might differ slightly. Because of this, we recommended checking your local government’s website for more information.
That being said, the basic principles of a TCP should be similar across all jurisdictions. In this blog, we’re going to discuss what exactly a traffic control plan is and why you need it.
Introduction – Traffic Control Plan
According to Australia’s Work Health and Safety Act of 2011, businesses are required to take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of their employees and, by extension, those around them. As such, if your work interferes with the activity on the roads, following a traffic control plan is required under this act.
A TCP is designed to ensure the safety of the workers, motorists and pedestrians. It usually comes in the form of a diagram and/or a manual that provides essential information to the site managers and workers. This includes how vehicle and pedestrian traffic will be separated, the placements of warning and directional signs, and instructions of how passing traffic will be managed around the worksite.
As one might expect, a TCP requires a business to use various safety equipment like bollards, traffic cones, speed humps, barricades, message boards and so on. It’s also important that the workers are equipped with hi-vis vests and other necessary personal protective equipment.
Who needs a traffic control plan?
Any work that interferes with traffic in any way needs a TCP. Here are a few jobs and events that usually require a traffic management plan:
- Paving roads or repairing footpaths
- Construction projects near roads and footpaths
- Various telecommunications projects (e.g., underground cabling)
- Outdoor festivals
- Outdoor exhibitions
- Various public gatherings
If you’re not sure about whether you need a TCP, we recommend getting in contact with local authorities.
What’s involved in a traffic control plan?
- Identification of hazards
An important part of a TCP is identifying potential hazards. You should be looking for high traffic areas such as where vehicles and pedestrians interact (i.e., shared areas, crossings, etc.). You need to ensure that the hazards in such settings are eliminated or controlled. This could be done with barricades, clear visibility markings, a traffic controller and proper signage. Additionally, you should also consider if it’s possible to do the work when there’s less traffic. This could be during night-time or on the weekends.
You should also look for potential blind spots or low visibility areas. Mirrors that allow workers to see around corners or large vehicles can be helpful in such cases. High-visibility markings and signage are also essential.
If you’re working at night, it’s important to have the proper lighting and warning signs set up. This not only helps workers do their jobs properly but also helps motorists and pedestrians see and avoid potential hazards.
It’s always a good idea to ask employees about their working conditions. The workers themselves will let you know if you’ve overlooked any issues with the working environment.
- Worker’s training and equipment
All your workers should be aware of all potential hazards as well as what to do when confronted with one. Indeed, all workers need to undergo extensive training in order to be prepared for the dangers that could arise during the job. If they’re operating heavy vehicles, you need to make sure that they have the proper licensing and all necessary qualifications.
As mentioned before, they also need to be wearing the proper equipment such as high-visibility vests, hard hats, protective glasses and so on.
A trained and well-informed team can reduce road-related accidents significantly. That was just a brief summary of traffic control plans. Hopefully, this gave you a better idea of what a TCP is and why it’s important to have one. If you have further questions or concerns, please visit official government pages or consult a traffic safety specialist near you.