Building a “Curbside Mentality” can make road construction work safer
Creating a safe work environment for road construction work sites is increasingly a challenge. For real improvements to be realized, those involved will need to help workers develop a “curbside” mentality that assures constant vigilance toward safe practices.
With a curbside mentality, workers will become more aware of keeping themselves and their co-workers closer to the safety of the curbside, placing large equipment and safety precautions between themselves and oncoming traffic. Developing a curbside mentality will require careful planning, education, execution and repetition before safe behaviors become ingrained habits.
In the 2019 State of the Cities report from the National League of Cities, nearly 60% of the mayors discussed infrastructure as a major topic. Across regions and population categories, roads, streets, and signs were among the top five infrastructure concerns. Niagara Falls, New York Mayor Paul Dyster said: “Having a complete streets plan recognizes that our streets belong to everyone—pedestrians and cyclists as well as motorists—and so [it] enhances safety and improves the aesthetic appeal and quality of life in our neighborhoods.”
Many cities are focused on using technology to create safer streets for all users. Strategies like traffic calming or the slowing of traffic by building speed bumps, adding lanes of traffic, and better-synchronized traffic signals are part of the discussion.
So, how do we make road construction work safer? It’s a four-step process:
- Establish a traffic zone management plan.
- Incorporate safety features in the work zone.
- Invest in advanced technology and safer equipment.
- Conduct ongoing safety education and training.
“Curbside” thinking needs to become a purposeful approach to planning, education, technology, and equipment. With a dedication to ongoing training, the repetition will become a habit, and “safety first” will be top-of-mind every day in the workplace.
Download our white paper, “TIPS ON BUILDING A CURBSIDE MENTALITY FOR ROAD WORKERS”, for more details.