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Keeping flaggers safe in work zones

Roadway work zones can be a dangerous place for flaggers, the ones who control the flow of traffic. Car crashes in work zones are nothing new in Texas. According to WorkZoneSafety.org, 2017 alone saw a total of 132 crash fatalities in roadway work zones. The Center for Construction Research and Training states that most of these crashes occur because of aggressive or speeding drivers.

The CPWR has a host of safety tips that flaggers will want to take into account. Some of the most important tips involve clothing. To prepare for adverse weather, flaggers should wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and hard hats. Their clothing should be high-visibility, and when they work at night, they should wear a reflective vest over it.

To further ensure that they are seen by drivers, flaggers should never stand in the shade, around a sharp curve or near the crest of a hill. They must pay attention to their surroundings and react accordingly to any aggressive drivers. Standing in an open lane for traffic is a bad idea, as are listening to loud music and turning one's back to traffic.

Flaggers should be in communication with each other and be agreed upon what hand signals to use. These signals should be different from traffic signals. An escape route is also essential.

Employers must do their part, too, in enforcing guidelines. Nevertheless, employers and employees alike cannot prevent all accidents. If there was no breach in workplace safety, then the injured worker may still be reimbursed for medical costs and a portion of lost wages. All the victim has to do is file for workers' compensation benefits, though there may be some conflicts along the way. A lawyer may evaluate the case and handle every step, even that of mounting an appeal.

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