Traffic Management risks at workplace can be taken for granted or overlooked until an incident occurs. Below are some steps to ensure that workers and other people are not exposed to traffic management risks:
#1 Identify Hazards
Observe the workplace to identify areas where pedestrians and vehicles interact. Think about the floor plan of your workplace, if work is done close to public areas, when traffic volumes are higher, where potential blind spots are and other areas of poor visibility. Security footage may be useful if available.
Ask your workers, pedestrians and visiting drivers about traffic management problems they encounter at your workplace.
Review Company’s incident and injury records including near misses. A checklist to help you identify traffic hazards is available on the Safe Work Australia website.
#2 Assess the Risk
In many cases the risks and related control measures will be well known. In other cases, you may need to carry out a risk assessment to identify the likelihood of somebody being harmed by the hazard and how serious the harm could be. A risk assessment can help you determine what action you should take to control the risk and how urgently the action needs to be taken. Most vehicle incidents at the workplace are from collisions between pedestrians and vehicles reversing, loading and unloading. People who work with or near vehicles are most at risk. Customers and visitors may also be at risk.
#3 Control Risks
Take action to control the risk. The WHS laws require a business or undertaking do all that is reasonably practicable to eliminate or minimise risks.
The ways of controlling risks are ranked from the highest level of protection and reliability to the lowest. This ranking is known as the hierarchy of risk control. You must work through this hierarchy to manage risks.
The first thing to consider is whether hazards can be completely removed from the workplace. For example, risks can be eliminated by physically separating pedestrian routes from vehicle areas. This could be done by conducting activities at times when pedestrians are not present, using physical barriers or overhead walkways.
If it is not reasonably practicable to completely eliminate the risk then consider one or more of the following options in the order, they appear below to minimise risks, so far as is reasonably practicable:
substitute the hazard for something safer e.g. replace forklifts with other load shifting equipment like a walker stacker or pallet jacks
isolate the hazard from people e.g. by creating a delivery area away from other pedestrians or work activities
use engineering controls e.g. speed limiters on forklifts, presence sensing devices or interlocked gates.
If after implementing the above control measures a risk remains, consider the following controls in the order below to minimise the remaining risk:
use administrative controls e.g. warning signs or schedule delivery times to avoid or reduce the need for pedestrians and vehicles to interact
use personal protective equipment (PPE) e.g. high visibility clothing.
A combination of the controls set out above may be used if a single control is not enough to minimise the risks. You need to consider all possible control measures and decide about which are reasonably practicable for your workplace. Deciding what is reasonably practicable includes the availability and suitability of control measures, with a preference for using substitution, isolation or engineering controls to minimise risks before using administrative controls or PPE.
Control measures need to be regularly reviewed to make sure they remain effective, taking into consideration any changes, the nature and duration of work and that the system is working as planned.
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