Flagger Safety

Work zone flaggers are the first line of defense for road construction workers and are there to help protect the public. It is a critical and dangerous job. Because they are the ones that deal with the speeding, distracted or sometimes angry driver, they must also know how to protect themselves while on the job.

What flaggers should do to protect themselves:

  • Most importantly, all flaggers should have the appropriate flagger training and have periodic refresher training.
  • Wear high-visibility clothing such as orange, yellow or green vests. Use retro-reflective vests at night.
  • Wear other protective equipment such as hard hats, long-sleeved shirts and pants, safety footwear and eyewear.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather.
  • Stay alert and out of harm’s way by following these guidelines:
    • Stand alone on the shoulder in clear view.
    • Never stand in the open traffic lane.
    • Plan an escape route for emergencies.
    • Stay alert and focused on your work.
    • Make sure your hand signals don’t conflict with the traffic signals.
    • Treat motorists with respect and courtesy. Don’t pick fights or respond in anger. If a driver is a problem, record the make, model and license number of the car, and report the incident to law enforcement.
    • If a driver violates your warnings and trespasses your flagging station, warn the other workers in the work zone. Establish a warning signal ahead of time for the work crew in case of an emergency.

Dangerous behaviors flaggers should avoid:

  • Standing where you can be crushed;
  • Standing in the shade, over the crest of a hill or around a sharp curve;
  • Leaving your position until properly relieved;
  • Standing near equipment;
  • Standing in a group;
  • Participating in unnecessary conversation;
  • Reading or daydreaming while on duty;
  • Using your cell phone;
  • Listening to music or using ear phones; or
  • Turning your back on traffic.

Remember, working in traffic areas always presents some risks. The job of a flagger is an essential component of worksite safety.

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INDOT Accepting Applications for Local Road and Bridge Matching Grant Funds

Source: INDOT news release

Community Crossings program provides millions in funding to cities, counties, and towns for infrastructure.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Transportation announced today that the agency is accepting applications from cities, towns, and counties across Indiana for matching funds for local road and bridge projects through Community Crossings, the State’s local road and bridge matching grant fund.

On March 23, 2016, Governor Mike Pence signed HEA1001 which created the local road and bridge matching grant program. HEA 1001 provides $186 million in state reserves for local road and bridge funding over the next two years, and provides $277 million over the next four years by redirecting an additional 1 and ½ pennies of the gasoline use tax to local roads to be phased in over two years; $100 million in funding will be available each year going forward providing long-term road funding for locals.

Projects that are eligible for funding through Community Crossings include road resurfacing, bridge rehabilitation, road reconstruction, roundabouts, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance in connection with road projects. Material costs for chip sealing and crack filling operations are also eligible for funds.

Projects submitted to INDOT for funding will be evaluated based on need, traffic volume, local support, the impact on connectivity and mobility within the community, and regional economic significance.

Community Crossings is open to all local government units in the State of Indiana. Cities, towns, and counties awarded grants will receive funding based on a 50/50 match. For example, a county that is awarded a grant for a roundabout project that is estimated to cost $1 million would receive $500,000 in funding from the State with the County providing the other $500,000.

For more information and to apply for a Community Crossings grant, visit in.gov/indot/2390.htm and download the application. All application materials must be submitted via email to LPA_MPO@indot.in.gov by Friday, July 15, 2016 at 5 p.m. ET. Communities selected to receive funding for projects will be notified by INDOT in early August 2016.

Driving: Make the Right Impression

People judge us by our actions. They form opinions about us, and sometimes our company, when they watch us work. There is perhaps no more powerful image builder than the way we drive.

How many times have you witnessed a truck driver cut someone off as they made a wide turn, or totally block traffic when they parked without using warning signs? These, and other actions (whether good or bad), influence our impressions of a driver and his company. In our society, where people can capture images with smart phones and upload them via social media, millions of people can see a posted photo instantly. We can refer to the impressions these photos (and sometimes comments) produce as brand impact. Anything that produces a negative impression of a company will hurt business.

When you’re driving a company vehicle, keep in mind that you represent the company, and people are watching. To leave a positive impression, practice defensive driving. Be aware of what others are doing, and adjust your driving techniques.

Defensive driving is based on three factors: visibility, space and communication.

  • Visibility is about seeing and being seen. Be aware of the traffic behind, beside and in front of you. Constantly scan the road ahead and to the side. Check your mirrors every five seconds. Use your lights as required. This will help you avoid hazards.
  • Managing the space around your vehicle will help you avoid a collision. Maintain a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Tailgating is a sure way to create discomfort in other drivers and can easily result in a collision, if the driver in front has to stop quickly.
  • Communicate with other road users. Make eye contact with pedestrians, cyclists and drivers at intersections. Signal whenever you want to slow down, stop, turn or change lanes. If you need to get another person’s attention, use your horn.

Finally, get to know your vehicle before you drive it. Some vehicles have different systems than you’re used to, like ignition systems, anti-lock brakes, four-wheel drive and systems for traction and stability control.

  • Read the owner’s manual. Make sure you know where all the controls and instruments are and what they do.
  • Practice using wipers and washers, headlights, high beams, heater and defroster, so you can operate them without taking your eyes off the road.
  • Check and adjust your mirrors. Find your blind spots. Many accidents happen when people change lanes and don’t see the person, cyclist or vehicle in their blind spot.

Remember to drive defensively, and keep your company brand in mind when you drive.