Working close to traffic can be dangerous. Each roadside work zone has its own unique set of hazards associated with roads, traffic, vehicles, and work activities. Employers or supervisors need to identify workplace hazards, put measures in place to protect workers from those hazards, and ensure workers know the hazards and how to protect themselves.
This resource provides a list of potential hazards that may be present when working on or beside the road. When identifying roadside work hazards, remember that they can change over the course of a work day.
Potential road hazards
- Limited space between the work site and roadway.
- Curves, hills, trees, or parked vehicles that limit a driver’s sight of work zone.
- Overhead cables, railway crossings, or right-of-ways by work area.
- Other roadside work or traffic control being done nearby.
- Bike lanes.
- Uneven ground, construction debris, obstacles, etc. in the work area.
Potential traffic hazards
- Near an intersection with traffic lights or traffic coming from multiple directions.
- Rush hour traffic.
- Traffic merging from two lanes to one.
- Bus stop nearby.
- Schools, parks, playgrounds, or community centres nearby.
- Children in the vicinity.
Potential vehicle hazards
- Large vehicles passing by that could block signage or reduce road width.
- Emergency vehicles frequently passing by.
Potential weather and light hazards
- Snow or ice.
- Reduced light.
- Rising or setting sun.
Potential work activity hazards
- Work vehicles or mobile equipment entering or exiting the work site.
- Vehicles traveling in the work zone.
- Equipment operated in the work zone.
- Placement of supplies and equipment (can they be safely accessed).