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Two ways to prevent accidents when performing construction work on public roads

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Performing construction work on a busy public road can be highly dangerous, both for those involved in this process and the motorists who need to drive by the work area. Here are two ways to prevent accidents from occurring in this type of situation:

Use road plates to cover excavated trenches

If a trench needs to be created on a public road, then it is important for this trench to be covered with a road plate during periods when it does not need to be accessed.

The reason for this is as follows: a deep trench on a public road can pose a risk to both the people operating the heavy construction equipment near it and the other road users who need to pass by it.

For example, if a forklift or a bulldozer that is being used as part of the construction project accidentally drives over the edge of the trench, it could tip forward and fall into it. This could leave the equipment damaged and the operator severely injured.

Likewise, if this trench is not covered with a road plate during the periods when construction work is not being carried out -- for example, on the weekends or in the evenings -- this hole in the ground could make it harder for motorists to drive along this stretch of road and could increase the likelihood of them getting into accidents, as they may swerve across the road to avoid driving into the trench and end up colliding with another road user.

Road plates (i.e. large, steel plates that are designed to cover trenches and support the weight of heavy vehicles) can prevent these accidents from happening by ensuring that the trench is covered and is safe for both motorists and operators of heavy construction equipment to drive over.

Put the safety barriers as far away from the heavy construction equipment as possible

When construction work is being carried out in a public area, those involved will usually put up safety barriers around the work area to ensure that passers-by don't get close to the heavy construction equipment that is being used.

However, these safety barriers will only keep people safe in this situation if they are put reasonably far away from the heavy construction equipment. The reason for this is as follows: if the barriers are just a few feet away from the forklifts, excavators and other equipment, and a motorist who is driving toward or around these barriers experiences an issue such as brake failure or a tyre blowout, they could crash into these barriers so forcefully that the barriers collapse.

If this happens and there is a forklift just a couple of feet away, the vehicle could collide with that piece of equipment, in which case both the motorist and the equipment operator could be badly injured.

Conversely, if there are seven or more metres between the barrier and the area where the construction equipment is being used, and a motorist crashes into these barriers, the chances of them colliding with the equipment will be much smaller.