Reduced visibility during night construction can increase the amount time it takes for a motorist to see and respond to work activity taking place on or near the roadway. Other factors that can affect a driver’s ability to respond effectively to night construction work activity include age, experience, mental condition, physical condition, weather and familiarity with the roadway.

Reduced visibility during night construction work can also affect an equipment operator’s ability to see and respond effectively to the activity taking place around them. It is important to follow the worker safety plan for night construction work activity which should include the following:


  • ANSI Class 3 shirt or vest, as the outermost clothing. Replace these when faded, worn, dirty or defaced.
  • ANSI high-visibility gaiters or bands around the ankles.
  • Hard hat with reflective tape or work light attachment.

ANSI Class 3 apparel and high visibility gaiters place the reflective material on the arms and legs in a design that conveys biological motion (body movement). Road workers wearing biomotion clothing are recognized at significantly longer distances than the standard vest alone.


  • Light the work area and approaches to provide visibility for motorists to safely travel through the work zone.
  • Illuminate work activity areas where workers are present to make them visible.
  • Control glare so as not to interfere with the visibility of the work zone by drivers and workers.


Ensure all lighting and supplemental lighting on construction vehicles and equipment is in good working order.


Night construction activity can also create limited visibility for equipment operators and other construction vehicles.

  • Ensure back up alarms are working correctly.
  • Be aware than equipment blind spots/zones can increase during night work.
  • Use spotters when backing equipment to prevent run overs or back overs.
  • Don’t walk behind or between operating or moving equipment and vehicles.
  • Be aware of the greater chance for trips and falls while walking on the construction site.
  • Follow the temporary traffic control plan and the worker safety plan for night construction work activity.
  • Know the details of the project’s emergency action plan.

Download the printable PDF and recording form here.

Members can download the audio version of this toolbox talk here.

Safety Tips for Night Work Construction Crews

Originally published May 9, 2017

According to one report, nighttime construction work is almost 2 ½ times more dangerous than daytime construction work.

Some reasons this work is more dangerous include: operators and motorists find it difficult to see beyond the glare of headlights or work zone lights; motorists and workers are more likely to be fatigued and drowsy; a higher percentage of motorists may be under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and work zone lane changes can catch motorists by surprise. Add it all up and it’s easy to see why nighttime work is more dangerous.

However, working at night is here to stay. Lane closures for roadway construction or repair can be accomplished with less disruption to the traveling public by doing the work during off peak (nighttime) hours. So what can we do to help ensure our safety when we are working at night?

While Off The Job – Make Sleep a Priority

  • An hour or so before you want to go to sleep, take a warm shower or bath to relax.
  • Lower the temperature in your bedroom (a cool environment improves sleep).
  • Darken your bedroom by pulling shades.
  • Avoid caffeine several hours before you want to go to sleep.
  • Don’t activate your brain several hours before you want to go to sleep.
  • Wear earplugs if daytime noise keeps you awake.
  • Turn on a “white noise” machine, like a fan, to give a gentle background noise.
  • Develop a regular sleeping schedule.

While On The Job

  • All construction crew members should wear high-visibility clothing. Flaggers in particular, should wear safety vests that are labeled as meeting the American National Standards Institute standard performance for Class 3 risk exposure safety vest, with “retro-reflective” striping.
  • Take short breaks when you feel yourself becoming tired.
  • Use the buddy system – try working close to a co-worker for conversation and help in recognizing when you’re getting drowsy.
  • If you find yourself fighting to stay awake, let a supervisor know and take a short break. A short break could prevent a serious accident.

We don’t recommend using sleeping pills or alcohol to go to sleep. They might help for a day or two, but not long-term. We also don’t recommend drinking lots of highly-caffeinated drinks, because the short-term energy burst they give is followed by a deeper sense of fatigue a short time later.

Consider these safety tips when working at night. The life you save may be your own.

Download the recording form here.