Author, Drew Garcia, Vice President, Landscape Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.
Many city contracts and some residential communities will call for landscape contractors to install, maintain, or remodel road dividing medians. The potential risk for injury that can occur due to this exposure is highly severe. If your operations include any percentage of median work, then be sure to understand this increases your overall risk profile and slides the operations needle towards “heavy” in class.
Are you going above and beyond to prevent injuries from occurring as a result of your median work? Here are some quick safety tips you can implement today to better protect your employees from median work related injuries:
Eliminate median work when possible. This is the quickest way to completely separate employees from the exposure.
Consider the time of day as it relates to visibility and traffic for both vehicles and pedestrians.
Proper signage and cones
Is someone on staff trained as a competent traffic control person?
Has a Job Hazard Analysis been completed before work begins?
High visibility clothing (vests or shirts)
Employees should face oncoming traffic as much as possible when working in / near a street.
Ensure work zone buffer space is great enough to provide adequate recovery area for errant vehicles.
What is escape route in case a vehicle crosses into the work zone?
Communicate the importance of maintaining an escape route with project managers and landscaper crews.
Make modifications to temporary traffic control, if necessary.
Do not park vehicles in the buffer space.
Be aware of pedestrian traffic near work site. Is there a clear path for pedestrians to travel safely, including those with mobility issues such as the elderly or disabled?
Ensure a Heat Illness Prevention plan is in place during hot months.
Note, these are only suggestions and all may not apply to your particular exposure. Consult with a safety specialist for proper training and work site safety procedures.
For questions about how median work can affect a company’s risk profile, contact Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc. at (619) 937-0164.