In general, the workplace you’re operating in will impact which control measures you put in place.

The following are 3 essential aspects of good traffic management for each of warehousing, construction and shopping centres. If you want to boost your knowledge or augment your skills, a work, health and safety (WHS) training course that focuses on traffic management could be worth investigating!

Warehousing

There’s a wide range of traffic involved in warehousing, such as delivery trucks, powered mobile plants (e.g. forklifts) and pedestrians. These vehicles and individuals will be involved in activities like unloading, transferring and loading goods.

1) To make sure vehicles and pedestrians aren’t using a traffic route at the same time, introduce control measures such as walkways (overhead, if possible) and well-marked “safety zones” (complete with signs, interlocked gates, etc.) so that drivers and operators are protected if and when they disembark a vehicle.

2) Safe Work Australia’s “Traffic Management Guide: Warehousing” suggests implementing right-of-way rules and regulations and ensuring all workers and visitors at the warehouse are familiar with them, so they know who to give way to and when. These should be complemented by easy-to-read site maps that “indicate traffic flow”.

3) If possible, make sure any zones in which powered mobile plants are in operation are restricted, so that they’re off-limits to workers and visitors who are not either using the machines or trained to perform a supervisory role. This will prevent unauthorised personnel from accidentally walking into an area where they could be injured by a powered mobile plant.

Construction

The construction industry is another sector in which observing best practices for traffic management can be the difference between life or death. On a construction site, you will be faced with more or less the same kinds of traffic you might find in warehousing – large and small vehicles delivering materials, powered mobile plants, workers and members of the public.

The difference will be in the layout of the workplace, which will dictate the control measures you implement to keep everyone safe.

1) In the design stages of the construction site, make sure the amount of shared space that vehicles and pedestrians have is kept to a minimum. This should always be your first step when it comes to traffic management, as it will abolish the chances of people being injured or killed.

2) It can also be a good idea to try and limit the amount that vehicles have to move on the construction site itself. This is also something that should be considered in the design stages of the construction site, and it could involve “planning storage areas” and arranging parking for vehicles at a safe distance from the main workplace, so the chance of pedestrians being around vehicles when they’re reversing, etc. is reduced. Safe Work Australia’s “Traffic Management Guide: Construction Work” also suggests arranging drivers and pedestrians’ schedules so they don’t have to be on the construction site at the same time.

3) Make sure that everyone on the construction site is wearing high-visibility clothing at all times, as this will make it easier for drivers to see and, therefore, avoid them when operating their vehicles in the same location.

Shopping Centres

One of the most dangerous aspects of shopping centres is the fact that there are normally a lot of members of the public around, who have likely not received WHS training and are not well-versed in traffic management.

It’s therefore the duty of those who have received training to protect themselves, their coworkers and members of the public by developing and implementing sound traffic control measures.

In shopping centres, you’re likely to come across a variety of traffic, including “shopping trolley collection vehicles”, taxis, buses, bicycles and a variety of pedestrians.

1) Only use the aforementioned shopping trolley collection vehicles if they possess adequate safety features, such as reversing cameras, mirrors (to help minimise blind spots), and lights and alarms that indicate when the vehicles are backing up or coming near to pedestrians. Safe Work Australia’s “Traffic Management Guide: Shopping Centres” also notes that every person operating one of these vehicles should be properly trained and supervised if necessary.

2) Keep all traffic routes, such as footpaths, free of obstacles that might cause pedestrians to trip and injure themselves. These routes should be monitored regularly and any hazards noticed must be removed as soon as possible.

3) All pedestrian vehicles, such as taxis and buses, should be provided with designated zones in which to stop, preferably away from other vehicles and areas where there is a lot of foot traffic.

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