Positive Protection in Work Zones

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Providing Positive Protection on a road construction site is a key tool to improve safety for both construction workers and the motoring public.

What is Positive Protection?  Positive Protection encompasses various types of highway barriers aimed at preventing traffic accidents in work zones. These barriers include highly mobile barriers, movable and temporary steel barriers, movable concrete barriers, traditional concrete barriers, associated cushions, and end terminals. These measures are implemented to enhance safety and reduce the severity of crashes by providing Positive Protection between the construction site and the motoring public.

Road construction projects change the road conditions, sometimes several times over the course of a project.  These changes create unfamiliar driving experiences for motorists.  We ,in the road construction industry, must not assume that typical motorists are paying as much attention to these changes as we do.

Cones, Drums, T-Top Bollards, VMS Boards, Signs and Barricades do NOT provide positive protection to either the construction worker or the motorist.  While these are useful tools in the road safety tool box, they simply create a hazard warning to those motorists that are hopefully paying attention.

Road construction workers are working near live traffic, even at 40kph a vehicle impact into a workzone can be catastrophic.  Simply lowering the posted speed has several issues.  First, motorists are used to traveling at higher speeds on the road, will the motorist, first, pay attention and second, obey the speed change?  Second, lower speeds still do not prevent an errant motorist from entering the workzone.

Properly tested, reviewed and approved temporary crash barriers provide Positive Protection to construction workers and motorists.  These barriers will prevent nearly all vehicles from entering the workzone.  Barriers tested to MASH have known crash performance and every workzone can be designed with known performance for expected outcomes.

Once we increase our safety by preventing errant vehicles from entering workzones we have the additional hazard of debris entering these workzones.  This debris comes from vehicles traveling past the workzone and enters over the top of the temporary safety barrier.  A typical temporary barrier is only 800mm high, debris coming from trucks can and does enter workzones.

Properly designed Anti Debris Screens provide construction workers with additional Positive Protection from these objects, such as this video from Highways England showing an object impacting a construction worker.

Our team at Safe Barriers has decades of experience in the temporary workzone safety field, contact us for more information.