2 min read

How to develop a traffic management plan

By Joanna Weekes

As we discussed in Wednesday’s Health & Safety Bulletin, you have an obligation to manage traffic safely on your worksite even though there is no specific mention of it in health and safety legislation. This duty falls under the general obligation you have to ensure that you take all reasonable steps to eliminate or reduce any health and safety risk that may exist in your workplace.

‘Traffic’ in this sense refers to the interaction of vehicles, mobile plant (machinery) and pedestrians – so you need to think about when and where in your workplace this type of interaction may occur and determine which risk controls are needed.

You need to assess your workplace to identify areas where pedestrians are exposed to the risk of a collision between mobile plant or vehicles, for example, in a warehouse where forklifts and workers both operate (you can create exclusion zones for this).

Tips to reduce the risk of collision using a traffic management plan

  • Ensure all drivers are authorised and licensed to drive the specific vehicle.
  • Ensure all visitors are advised of the site’s traffic management plan and their obligation to comply.
  • Ensure all workers are familiar with the traffic management plan and receive sufficient information, instruction, training and supervision.
  • Ensure that there is either separation or safe interaction between mobile plant, vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Ensure that your traffic management systems and plans are effective, reviewed and current.
  • Install any necessary tools in the workplace, such as boom gates, bollards (posts) and pedestrian walkways, to eliminate or reduce the risk.

How to develop a traffic management plan

The pointers below can assist you on getting started with developing a traffic management plan for your workplace:

  • Consider the current traffic flow on your worksite by mapping out all possible movements of mobile plant and vehicles.
  • Identify collision points by mapping out pedestrians’ regular routes and seeing where they overlap with mobile plant and vehicles. Consider entry, exit, pick-up and drop-off points.
  • Identify the safest routes – identify the safest routes to be taken by mobile plant, vehicles and pedestrians and clearly mark them on the site plan.
  • Implement risk controls – examples include exclusion zones, signage, reversing beepers, speed limiting devices, spotters, convex mirrors, one-way traffic, etc.
  • Ensure that the new arrangements for separating pedestrians from mobile plant and vehicles are incorporated into site inductions for new workers and visitors. Display the new site plan prominently, and require all workers to comply with it.

Remember, apart from complying with your obligation to consult under health and safety legislation, the most effective workplace health and safety plan will always be developed in consultation with members of your workplace. When developing your traffic management plan consult site management, mobile plant drivers, other workers who are familiar with the site, health and safety representatives, etc.

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