The role of the flagger is critical to the safety of all on-site workers. The flagger is the first image to the public and is a primary contributor to maintaining safety for the public and all workers. It is important that flaggers be in good physical condition. Ensure the flagger has good hearing and vision. Also confirm that they are in good health so they would be able to escape any hazardous situation if need be.
As a flagger it is important to wear protective gear and be visible to everyone. It is therefore recommended that one wears a high-visibility vest and clothing, a hard hat, and safety footwear and eyewear. At night, wear reflective materials that will help motorists identify a flagger easily. Also, dress appropriately for the weather and climate conditions.
Keep in mind that flaggers are always exposed to the sun's UV rays. Be sure to apply appropriate sun protection such as sunscreen and lip balm. Stay hydrated. Water is best for warm temperatures as soda and energy drinks dehydrate the body. Change footing positions throughout the day to ensure proper posture. Take scheduled breaks.
As a flagger it is beneficial to inspect the work area for safety hazards throughout the workday. Look for the current traffic conditions. Are vehicles braking constantly? Are signs misplaced? Are there skid marks that indicate traffic confusion? Select a safe location to stand. Stand on the shoulder of the road, next to the lane being travelled. Be alert at all times for stray motorists. Be aware of your surroundings and face traffic at all times. Never stand in the lane in which traffic is flowing.
After selecting the flagger station, help control injury risk by placing warning signage. A flagger will be better protected from the motorists if they are given advanced warning of changes to lane configuration. Implementing such practices will allow motorists time to adjust and react before putting flaggers at risk of injury.
When in the situation that one lane of a two-way road is closed, communication is a must. Establish a clear line of communication, either visually or by two-way radio. A flagger must be able to communicate to the traffic they are directing. This individual must also be able to communicate with the motorists. Be firm and clear while giving directions to the motorists.
WCF Insurance Safety Department
NOTICE: This guide may make reference to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations; however the guide is not legal advice as to compliance with OSHA or other safety laws, codes, or regulations. Compliance with OSHA and other safety laws codes or regulations, and maintaining a safe work environment for your employees remains your responsibility. WCF Insurance does not undertake to perform the duty of any person to provide for the health or safety of your employees. WCF Insurance does not warrant that your workplace is safe or healthful, or that it complies with any laws, regulations, codes, or standards.