October 12, 2022

Managing Traffic Risks in the Workplace

Australia Speed Hump Sign

Managing Traffic Risks for Australian Businesses

Careful observation needs to be taken in and around the workplace to identify areas where pedestrians and vehicles interact. Below we take an overview of what you need to know and best practices for reducing risk and liability at work in Australia.

Start your traffic safety plan with observation

In a lot of the cases the risks are well known and observed by those around the work-place but some cases may need a risk assessment carried out so the likelihood of someone being injured or harmed in any way, can be identified and lessened.

Security cameras and the like may be an advantage where traffic volumes are higher and where there are potential blind spots or areas where the visibility is poor. It is a good practice to talk to employees and workers around the workplace and ask them what problems they are encountering that could be addressed and made safer.

Main areas of Risk for Traffic Accidents

A lot of the accidents around the workplace are due to vehicles reversing or loading and unloading and pedestrians do not see them if there is not sufficient warning lights or alarms   This could also be putting your valuable customers at risk.

The Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) laws state a business is required to do all that is reasonably practical to eliminate or at least lessen the risk of any mishaps or accidents around the workplace.

There are ways of controlling risks that are ranked from the highest level of protection and reliability to the lowest.  This is known as the hierarchy of risk control.  Employers must work through this to manage the risks.

Can Hazards be Completely Removed from Workplaces?

Is it possible for pedestrian routes and vehicle areas to be fully separated.  Perhaps using barriers or separated walkways for pedestrians and having a particular delivery area where pedestrians are not entering or needing to walk.

You can get speed limiters on the forklifts or other sensing devices to control the speed of the forklifts.  Or if this is not possible signs can be erected to warn people of moving vehicles or warn vehicles that are loading and unloading that pedestrians may be present. High vis clothing is also an advantage for drivers of forklifts and similar vehicles.

How to Design a Traffic Management Plan (TMP) for Australian Businesses

A traffic management plan should be regularly monitored and reviewed, especially where an accident has taken place, to ensure it is set up correctly and notes any changes in the workplace. Also ensure all staff are familiar with the plan and have had training in the various aspects of it.  

Any staff expected to work in environments where traffic of any kind is present, should be fully trained to perform their duties and this training should be administered by a competent trained person. All contractors, visitors and relevant people should have a clear understanding of the safety procedures in the workplace and surrounds and be responsible to take due care of themselves and others around them.

Top Tips for a Traffic Safety Compliant Workplace

  1. Any visiting personnel should know to report to the reception area or site office to receive the information required on the safety procedures of the workplace before they undertake any work in or around the area.  Make sure it is easily understood by the workers and it may involve some training material as well.
  2. It may not be reasonably practical to keep pedestrians and vehicles apart around the workplace.  In that case barriers or rails should be considered to stop pedestrians just walking in where vehicles are moving.
  3. Always ensure the vehicle routes are wide enough to take larger trucks and vehicles that may need to enter and exit the workplace area and should also be free of hazards and be clearly sign posted or have traffic calming measures such as speed humps to reduce the speed of moving vehicles.
  4. Where pedestrians do need to walk where vehicles are crossing there are various ways to control this, either with gates, traffic light systems or a worker directing and controlling traffic.
  5. Parking areas may need to be provided for workers, visitors or other vehicles coming and going from the work place so these also need to be located away from the busy areas and if possible a walking area with barriers or bollards to keep people walking in a direct path to their destination.  If at all possible it is ideal to provide trucks that are loading and unloading with a drive-through area so that they do not have to reverse.  If this is not possible reversing sensors or some audible devise needs to be used to alert pedestrians of approaching vehicles.
  6. Make sure all visiting trucks and vehicles are aware of the layout in the workplace and the route they are expected to take when entering and exiting.  Clear notice of forklifts operating can be done with warning devices such as signs, cones, lights, alarms and horns.

Northpac is Australia's Trusted Car Park Safety Supplier

If you are still having trouble with all the information you need for your business, please touch base with our support staff and we will be happy to help out with any areas you are stuck on.

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