Working safely along public roads is of great importance in order to maintain traffic safety. If you are a road builder, asphalter, cable layer or road cleaner, it is important to know the rules that apply if you want to work safely alongside the road. In this blog, we will take you through the possibilities of cordoning off the road and the rules that apply.
Risks when working at the roadside
Working on and off the road involves risks. It is therefore important to remain alert to your own safety, that of your colleagues and the maintenance of order on the public highway. Working safely on the road involves many different responsibilities. It is therefore wise to be well prepared.
If you want to work safely along public roads, it is good to think of the following items at least:
- Traffic cone
- Guide Beacons/Shields
- Action window
- Beacon light
- Signal clothing
Working along public roads with traffic cones
A good way of securing the road is to use traffic cones. With the help of these cones, a part of the road can easily be closed off, so that you can start working undisturbed.
When using traffic cones, it is important that these cones are at least 0.75 m high and of fluorescent colour. In addition, the cone must, as the name suggests, be cone-shaped. The base plate must be square, so that it cannot roll over if it falls over. For this reason, the base plate has a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8 sides.
Working safely alongside the road with guide beacons/signs
Another method of cordoning off the road is the use of guide posts or shields. These guide beacons are on average 1.40 m high. The beacons have diagonal (guiding) red/white stripes. These instruct road users on which side they should pass the beacons.
In addition, the guide beacons shall comply with the following requirements:
- The height of the plane with the red and white stripes is 1m;
- The height under the plane with the red and white stripes is <0.25m;
- The width of the area with the red/white stripes is 0.25m;
- The width of the foot space is <0.50m.
Working safely along public roads with action frames
With action windows, we distinguish between small action windows with one road sign on the working vehicle, a large action window with two road signs on an action vehicle and an action window with two road signs on the working vehicle. The various types of action framework and the associated rules are explained below.
Small action window with one traffic sign on the work vehicle
A small action window with one traffic sign on the work vehicle is intended as a zero point for short-term work. This may include the work of a roadside mower. This form of action window may only be used when working beside the road and on cycle paths. Sometimes the action framework may be used on very quiet roads with low speed and low intensity. This could be, for instance, the 'real 60-km' roads.
A small action window with one traffic sign has the following characteristics:
- The width of the board with the white and red reflective material is 0.20m;
- The traffic sign determines the height and width. This means that for a type 2
traffic sign the dimensions are 1.30 m x 1.30 m;
- The action window can be equipped with the traffic sign J16 or D02;
- The distance from the bottom of the traffic sign J16 to the ground must be at least 1.20
m and a maximum of 3 m. The distance from the bottom of the action window to the ground is
thus a minimum of 1 metre.
Please note that in the case of a small action frame with one traffic sign, if the yellow LED beacon on the vehicle is clearly visible, the LED flashers on the action frame are not necessary. However, when you want to work safely on the road, this is recommended. When flashers are placed on the action frame, they have to be placed on the quadrangles, be round, have a minimum diameter of 180mm and a maximum diameter of 200mm. They must also have a yellow colour.
Large action window with two traffic signs on an action trolley
In contrast to the small frame, the large action frame is intended to be used as a zero point for driving offences on busy urban roads and on 80 km/h roads outside urban areas. As regards the placement of a large action frame, it is possible to place the frame at the rear of the vehicle. However, practice shows that due to its dimensions, this is almost never possible. In many cases, we see a large action frame with LED flashers on a trailer.
The large action frame has the following characteristics:
- The width of the boards is 0.30m;
- the height is 3.30m and the width is 1.70m;
- May only be placed in the longitudinal direction;
- Four round yellow alternating lights with a minimum diameter of 180 mm and a maximum diameter of 300 mm shall be mounted on the action window;
- The distance from the bottom of the sign to the road surface must be at least 1.20 m;
- The vehicle must also have a yellow flashing light.
Action frame with two traffic signs on the work vehicle
The third method of cordoning off the road with an action window is by means of an action window with two traffic signs on the work vehicle. Under certain conditions an action window may be placed on the working vehicle. The characteristics that apply here are the same as the conditions for having an action window on a vehicle. The only difference is that the design may be smaller than 2.00m x 1.30m. Furthermore, the planking width is 0.20m. The frame may be placed both horizontally and vertically on the vehicle. This application is only permitted on the red and blue roads indicated in the road layout.
On orange roads outside built-up areas, a large action frame must be used at all times. The reason for this, of course, is the speed and intensity of road traffic. This action frame may be attached to a tractor. In practice, however, this method of placement is often very difficult. For example, when placing an action frame, it is not possible to connect any other form of trailer to the tractor. This may hinder the work.
Transporting action frames
Please note that when driving to your destination under normal road conditions, the action window should not be visible on the vehicle. They may only be visible during temporary work.
Safe working at the roadside with LED flashers from Tralert®
When using an action frame, it is advisable to equip it with LED flashers. These flashers make the road surface and the work in progress more visible. In addition, with the help of a flasher it is possible to display an arrow or other form of communication, so that road users can easily see on which side they have to pass. The LED flashers also ensure that safe working along the road is possible in the dark. It is therefore strongly recommended to use LED flashers on your action frame.
200mm Master amber flashing light slim-line with ears
This 200mm amber flasher in the master version is a flasher that is ideally suited for use on action windows.
Safety standard EN12352 and performance test EN50293 allow you to carry this flasher on public roads. The slimline housing with ear mounting is very easy to assemble.
Working safely along public roads with an (orange) LED flashing light
Another effective way to warn other road users is the application of a flashing light. A flashing light must be applied to a vehicle of a moving deposition or when the vehicle is causing a possible danger. An example of this is an agricultural tractor that is transporting land. When the agricultural vehicle is more than 2,6m wide, it is compulsory to fit an Amber LED beacon on your vehicle.
Another situation when a flashing light can be used is when a vehicle is parked in a necessarily dangerous position. In this case, the flashing light or even flashing beam can be used to warn passing traffic. For example, in the event of an emergency. A good example of this is a car from the ANWB, when someone has a breakdown along the motorway.
The requirements for an LED beacon are:
- The flashing light must be amber;
- The flashing light must be clearly visible from all sides of the vehicle, so that road users from all directions can see the flashing light from a distance;
- When using LED beacons, the use of "electron torch" is not recommended. A flashing light is better when used. It allows the road user to better estimate the distance to the vehicle and the moving barrier;
- The flashing light may not be placed higher than the maximum height of a vehicle, as prescribed in the Vehicle Regulations. According to the legal regulations, this is 4 metres.
Working safely along public roads with signal clothing
If you follow the above rules properly, you are well on the way to a well-lit workplace. The only part that is not yet well lit is you. If you want to work safely on the road, it is also advisable to wear signal clothing. This clothing ensures that you too are highly visible. As you can probably imagine, you will mainly be doing your job. Because of this, you may not be able to keep an eye on oncoming traffic. When you are clearly visible along the road, road users will notice you better and know that you belong to the roadblock.
Working safely along public roads with signal clothing
Signal clothing must comply with the NEN-EN 471 standard. This prescribes that the signal clothing must always consist of retro-reflective and fluorescent material. These materials are prescribed because they provide good visibility by day and night. For example, fluorescent materials stand out well in daylight and retro-reflective strips provide good light output when a vehicle's headlight shines on them.
Safe roadside work begins at TRALERT®
At TRALERT® traffic safety is a top priority. Every day we try to provide our partners with the brightest light, so that they can carry out their work under good conditions. You can think of a large assortment of high quality LED lights for different vehicles. Of the above types of barrier, Tralert® offers a wide range of LED flashers, LED beacons and LED lights for traffic safety. LED beacon bars. Would you like to know what else the TRALERT® assortment can offer you? Feel free to browse the entire product range on the TRALERT® dealer portal.