HSE backs guidance designed to keep road workers safe

Highways Reporters

Guidance aimed at keeping road workers safe has received the backing of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The Highways Agency, as part of its Aiming for Zero initiative, has a road worker safety strategy, which emphasises the need to significantly reduce risks to road workers, at all locations on the HA network.

The HA’s interim advice note 150/14 revision 01 provides updated guidance for temporary traffic management (TTM), on the approach zones at roadworks where “relaxation scheme” works criteria apply on dual carriageways, in order to reduce risks to road workers.

A letter seen by Highways Magazine entitled ‘Protection of traffic management operatives at static temporary traffic management works on high speed dual carriageways' outlines the HSE’s view on guidance issued by the Highways Term Maintenance Association (HTMA) and the Highways Agency.

In particular it refers to the HTMA guidance TTM Vehicle Selection and Operation and Interim Advice Note 181/14.

Thomas Merry, HM inspector of health and safety, is the author of the letter. In a summary of the letter he outlines the following points:

1. Operatives working on foot in a live lane should be supported by an impact protection vehicle (IPV) in the same lane as the work. The IPV can be positioned either up-stream or down-stream of the work, to be determined through robust risk assessment.

2. Work on the near side of carriageways with a hard shoulder need not be supported in this way where it can be done from the hard shoulder and;

• There is sufficient visibility, and

• There is an effective “escape” route, and

• A robust assessment of the risk justifies it as the safest option.

3. Where operatives are working from a works vehicle in a live lane, that vehicle must be protected by a separate IPV unless this cannot be done because of the road layout.

4. Where use of a separate protection vehicle is not used robust risk assessment must demonstrate why use of an IPV is not required.

5. Work activities within closed lanes or within a hard shoulder will not require protection from an IPV unless identified as necessary through robust risk assessment.

Merry told Highways Magazine: “This is about improving the safety of road workers. We can do this by ensuring they have the best possible support and protection while working on live carriageways.”

At this year’s Seeing is Believing, the Traffic Management Contractors Association (TMCA) will demonstrate how to safely install and remove a lane closure in light of IAN 150/12, IAN 150/14, the HSE letter and the soon to be published IAN 181/14.

Places are limited so please register and reserve your free demo slot today. All demonstrations consist of a classroom briefing followed by outdoor demonstration on the motorway section of the track. Click here to register.

For further information on Seeing is Believing visit www.sib.uk.net

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