By Joanna Weekes
Do you have vehicles, mobile plant and pedestrians interacting on your worksite? Do you have rules in place that are enforced through a traffic management plan?
The safe management of traffic is not specifically mentioned in health and safety legislation, but as with anything that creates a health and safety hazard in your workplace, this does not matter – you have obligations to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that workers and other people are not exposed to a risk caused by your business operations.
This duty requires you to manage risks by eliminating them, and if it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate the risks, by minimising them.
Additional to your duty of care under health and safety legislation, State and Territory road safety and road management legislation applies to all vehicles using, crossing or working within the boundaries of public roadways – so you need to keep these in mind when creating your traffic management procedures.
What road rules should you enforce in your workplace?
To assist the safe movement of people and vehicles around your workplace, adopt the following principles from State and Territory road laws:
1. Only allow appropriately licensed and authorised personnel to operate a vehicle.
2. Enforce an appropriate speed limit.
3. Ensure seatbelts are worn at all times when in a vehicle.
4. Implement a rule to keep to the left.
5. Erect stop signs and traffic signals where appropriate.
6. Create pedestrian crossings and make their use mandatory.
7. Ensure drivers are fit and healthy for the task, e.g. not fatigued, under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication.
These might sound like common sense but you’d be surprised at how often basic road rules like this are overlooked in worksites.
Why a traffic management plan is a good idea…
By managing the movement of vehicles onsite, a traffic management plan:
- will help protect workers and other people in your workplace from mobile plant and vehicles;
- will help prevent injuries and damage caused by poor traffic management; and
- has the potential to boost productivity, efficiency and morale.
So later this week I will be looking into how to maintain safe practices in your workplace when it comes to traffic management, and how to get started tailoring a traffic management plan to your workplace.