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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

SM 445-2-H CHAPTER 17

Work Zone Safety

Instruction: This chapter is revised to update organizational changes, resources and references and to add an example traffic control plan

1.  Purpose. To specify the minimum Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Program requirements for employees or contractors working along roadways and/or on bridges. The chapter provides instructions on the development of site-specific Traffic Control Plans (TCPs) for field operations conducted from bridges and along roadways. Working from bridges and roadways can disturb vehicle and pedestrian traffic flow and poses a serious safety hazard to employees, contractors, and the public.

2.  Scope. This chapter applies to:

A.  All cost centers that conduct official business along roadways and/or on bridges.

B.  Any employee, contractor, or volunteer working along roadways and/or on bridges.

3.  References.

A.  United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

B.  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

C.  The National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse.

D.  Motor Vehicle Safety (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).

E.  Traffic Safety Digest.

F. NHTSA Regional Offices.

G.  Site Information Management System.

H.  ANSI/ISEA 107 American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel and Accessories, current version.

4.  Requirements.

A.  Traffic Control Plan.

(1)  Each cost center must develop site-specific TCPs, sometimes described as a Temporary Traffic Control Plans, for each bridge or roadway work site where work is performed on or within 15 feet from the edge of any roadway. The degree of detail in the plan depends on the type of highway, road conditions, duration of operation, physical constraints, and the nearness of the work space activity to road users. A site-specific TCP must include:

(a)  Field instructions for traffic control including the mandatory use of Class 3 high visibility apparel and the use and location of motor vehicle warning lights (e.g., high-intensity rotating, flashing, oscillating, or strobe lights).

(b)  Instructions for flaggers.

(c) A list of minimum vehicle traffic control equipment.

(d)  Traffic control schemes that define the most common road situations.

(e)  Traffic control zones. These are usually divided into four areas: the advance warning area, the transition area, the activity area, and the termination area.

(f)  Each site-specific TCP must provide a description of the type of roadway, traffic conditions, physical constraints, and meet the more stringent of any applicable Federal, State, or local requirement. Refer to Part 6 of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) for federal plan requirement details.

(2)  The cost center must submit each site-specific TCP for review and approval to the agency that has jurisdiction over the road where the work will take place. Examples are:

(a)  For work on a state highway, submit the plan to the State Department of Transportation.

(b)  For work on a city street, submit the plan to the Public Works Department of the city.

(c)  For work on roads under Federal jurisdiction (e.g., National Parks), submit the plan to the Federal Highway Administration.

(3)  Each site-specific TCP must be reviewed and updated at least annually.

(4)  All records relating to each site-specific TCP must be maintained for review by safety personnel during periodic inspections.

(5)  A copy of each site-specific TCP must be readily available to employees.

(6)  Site-specific TCPs may be developed using the Site Information Management System (SIMS) TCP calculator.

(7)  Although not required, cost centers may choose to supplement the site-specific TCP with an overarching Center TCP that describes the general requirements.

B.  High Visibility Apparel. All employees and contractors who work on or within 15 feet from the edge of any roadway must wear Class 3 high visibility apparel that complies with the current version of ANSI/ISEA 107 standard. Class 3 high visibility apparel ensures the greatest level of visibility.

C. Training. Employees and contractors that work from bridges or along roadways must receive the following traffic control safety training:

(1)  High-Visibility Safety Apparel in Work Zones.

(a)  All employees and contractors who work on or within 15 feet from the edge of any roadway must complete training to ensure identification and understanding of work zone traffic hazards and requirements and the need for increasing visibility while working from bridges or along roadways.

(b)  Training is required upon initial assignment and recommended every four years thereafter.

(c)  Online general awareness training is available at http://www.workzonesafety.org/training_courses/atssa_high-visibility_safety_apparel_training_module/player.html.

(2)  Flaggers. Flagger training is required for employees and contractors with flagger responsibilities. The training is required upon initial assignment. Flagger retraining is required at least every four years. Retraining frequency must comply with the more stringent of Federal or State requirements. Flaggers must be able to satisfactorily demonstrate the following abilities:

(a)  Ability to receive and communicate specific instructions clearly, firmly, and courteously;

(b)  Ability to move and maneuver quickly in order to avoid danger from errant vehicles;

(c)  Ability to control signaling devices (such as paddles and flags) in order to provide clear and positive guidance to drivers approaching a traffic control zone in frequently changing situations;

(d)  Ability to understand and apply safe traffic control practices, sometimes in stressful or emergency situations; and

(e)  Ability to recognize dangerous traffic situations and warn workers in sufficient time to avoid injury.

5.  Responsibilities.

A.  Director. Directs the Work Zone Safety activities through the Designated Agency Safety and Health Official.

B.  Associate Directors and Regional Directors.

(1)  Ensure that respective region, mission area, or office implements and complies with Work Zone Safety requirements.

(2)  Provide staff and funding support to ensure that program requirements are implemented and findings are abated.

C.  Designated Agency Safety and Health Official/Associate Director for Administration.

(1)  Exercises the authority of the Director to develop, direct, and manage an effective Work Zone Safety policy.

(2)  Assigns Work Zone Safety policy authority to the Chief, Office of Management Services, for program management and administration.

D.  Chief, Office of Management Services. Assigns Work Zone Safety responsibilities to the Occupational Safety and Health Program Manager for program management and administration.

E.  Occupational Safety and Health Program Manager.

(1)  Ensures the establishment, oversight, and assessment of the Work Zone Safety program.

(2)  Ensures the development of the Work Zone Safety policy.

(3)  Provides guidance and assistance in implementing Work Zone Safety requirements to mission area, office, or regional managers and supervisors.

F.  Regional Safety Managers.

(1)  Ensure local implementation of the Work Zone Safety program.

(2)  Validate through inspections and external audits that required elements of the Work Zone Safety are implemented in accordance with policy and regulations. Track and ensure abatement of findings in the Inspection and Abatement System (IAS).

(3)  Assist management and Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinators in implementing and complying with Work Zone Safety requirements.

G.  Science Center Directors, Cost Center Managers, and Project Chiefs.

(1)  Ensure that adequate staff and funding resources are provided to implement elements of Work Zone Safety, when required.

(2)  Inspect traffic control work zones for related hazards.

(3)  Prepare each site-specific TCP for bridge and/or roadway operations with protection of the public and employees in mind.

(4)  Submit completed site-specific TCPs for review and approval to the agency that has jurisdiction over the road where the work will take place.

(5)  Implement site-specific TCPs upon approval by the agency that has jurisdiction.

(6)  Update site-specific TCPs to reflect changes as necessary. Review and update plans at least annually.

(7)  Maintain all records relating to the site-specific TCPs.

(8)  Train employees who have traffic control work zone responsibilities.

H.  Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinators. Assist managers and supervisors in the implementation of the Work Zone Safety program.

I.  Employees.

(1)  Comply with Work Zone Safety requirements and report to their supervisors or Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinators any concerns regarding work zone safety and health.

(2)  Comply with site-specific TCP requirements and complete High-Visibility Safety Apparel in Work Zone and Flagger training as applicable.

J.  Contracting Officer’s Representatives. Ensure contractor compliance with applicable requirements when the USGS arranges via procurement contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, etc. to have work performed by a contractor that involves working on bridges and along roadways.

/s/ Jose R. Aragon                                                                December 2, 2016
_____________________________________               ____________                      
Jose R. Aragon                                                                             Date
Designated Agency Safety and Health Official


SM 445-2-H Table of Contents || Handbooks || Survey Manual Home Page
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA
URL: http://www.usgs.gov/usgs-manual/handbook/hb/445-2-h/ch17.html
Contact: APS, Office of Policy and Analysis
Content Information Contact: wrmiller@usgs.gov
Last modification: 13-Dec-2016@10:55