Work Zone Safety

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One Lane Road Ahead sign Work Zone Safety sign Flagger Ahead sign

Construction, maintenance, and utility operations produce serious highway safety problems. The changes in normal traffic flow and the unexpected conditions at many work zones provide hazardous situations and serious traffic conflicts. A comprehensive plan for work zone safety is required to minimize the effects of these construction and maintenance operations.


The general objectives of a program of work zone safety is to protect workers, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists during construction and maintenance operations. This general objective may be achieved by meeting the following specific objectives:

  • Provide adequate advance warning and information regarding upcoming work zones
  • Provide drivers clear directions to understanding the situation they will be facing as they proceed through or around the work zone.
  • Reduce the consequences of an out of control vehicle
  • Provide safe access and storage for equipment and material
  • Promote speedy completion of projects
  • Promote use of the appropriate traffic control and protection devices
  • Provide safe passage ways for pedestrians through, in, and/or around maintenance work zones

  • Tips for driving safely in a work zone
  • Standard Work Zone Signs
  • Navigating the Road

Traffic Control and Protection

The plans for traffic control around or through work zones should be developed with safety receiving a high priority. The plans should include protection at work zones when work is in progress and when operations have been halted (such as during the night). Provisions for the protection of work crews, traffic control personnel, pedestrians (in areas of high pedestrian use, construction of temporary facilities should be considered), and motorists shall be included in the operation plans. In all cases, the operation plan for traffic control and protection shall include provisions for the following:

  • Advance warning
  • Clear view of work zone
  • Roadway delineation
  • Regulatory information
  • Hazard warning
  • Barriers
  • Pedestrian and bicyclist safety
  • Access
  • Location of vehicles and equipment
  • Night safety (Roadway Lighting)
  • Personnel training
  • Traffic control and protective devices

All reasonable effort is made to inform the public of the location, duration, and nature of impending construction of maintenance projects.