By RWLS Safety, Jun 8 2018 04:30AM
Though it may seem like a pretty unremarkable role, one of the most important people at any road construction or repair site is the one in charge of slowing down or stopping drivers before it’s too late. While the other workers manage materials and equipment, the flagger has the mission critical role of looking out for the safety of workers, equipment, and everyone on the road. Which means the flagger on all projects should be professionally trained.
What Does a Flagger Do?
Flaggers are the first workers that drivers will see when they approach a work zone. They are there to protect drivers, but function as the eyes and ears of the work crew as well. Although signs should be posted well in advance to warn drivers of construction ahead, many people behind the wheel are often so familiar with a patch of road that they aren’t really paying attention until the actions of the flagger catch their eyes.
In addition to controlling the flow of traffic, flaggers normally guide drivers safely around the construction zone and communicate with the work crew about when it safe for them the cross over the line into clear traffic lanes.
Traffic Control Safety Measures
Flaggers can must have an understanding of the entire construction site including all road signs alerting drivers to what’s ahead and other safety measures such as:
1. Reflective vests in bright construction orange or yellow,
2. Flashing lights atop mobile barricades,
3. Concrete dividers,
4. Mirror posts,
5. Traffic cones,
6. Barrier tape,
7. Flares for low light conditions
Dangers That Come with Flagging
Drivers don’t like being delayed and they are likely to be irritated. As the only one on the construction crew that drivers are likely to interact with, flaggers take the brunt of frustration from drivers. The most serious hazards that comes with flagging duty are tiny lapses of attention and drivers who don’t react swiftly enough. The vast majority of rear end collisions happen around construction zones, and that can trigger a chain reaction that could endanger the entire construction crew. Remember that the longer the line of cars in front of you, the more likely that kind of collision becomes.
Learn more about flagger training and certification requirements, visit the RWLS Safety website or attend one of our safety courses.