Large-scale highway construction can be a somewhat high-risk endeavor, given the size of the equipment used and the sheer number of workers and equipment. However, even smaller-sized road work projects have a degree of risk.
And this holds true for all highway work and construction projects, given the presence of automobile and truck traffic during working hours.
The reality is that, while many safeguards and safety measures are routinely put into place on highway construction sites, these road work zones can be hazardous both for motorists who must navigate an often complex series of signs, cones, barrels, and lane changes, and for highway construction workers who build or repair streets, bridges, and highways.
When Safety is a Non-Negotiable
All deaths on highways are tragic, but many are both needless and unfortunate. Accidents at road work or highway construction sites are often avoidable but occur all too frequently, nonetheless.
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has noted,
“Studies show that highway and street construction workers are at a significant risk of fatal and serious nonfatal injuries while working in and around a street/highway construction jobsite. In addition to the risk of injury from passing motor vehicle traffic outside the work zone, there is an equally hazardous risk of injury from movement of construction vehicles and equipment within the work zone.”
For example, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports on, among other facts, the number of vehicle driver deaths from crashes that occur in work zones.
- From 1982 through 2020, 29,493 individuals (about 776 per year) lost their lives in work zone crashes.
- Since the peak year of 2002 – when 1,186 died in work zones – the number of deaths declined steadily to an average of 635 from 2008-2014, then increased to an average of 794 from 2015-2020.
And the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports on the number of fatal injuries to highway workers at road construction sites.
- From 2003-2020, 2,222 workers were killed at road construction sites—an average of 123 per year.
- Over the ten years from 2011-2020, Texas ranked as the state with the most worker deaths at road construction sites (143), followed by Florida (99), Pennsylvania (60), Indiana (52), Illinois (51), California (49), and Tennessee (49).
Because the safety of so many is at stake during even a small road construction or repair project, safety equipment of all types are usually employed on-site.
And this equipment often includes various forms of Traffic Control Safety items.
Cones, Drums, Barriers, Signs, and Trucks – Traffic Control Safety Equipment
Providing and maintaining the proper traffic control and safeguards is an absolute necessity for any roadwork. Whether long-term construction or short-term maintenance and road repairs, temporary traffic control are required for safety.
Generally speaking, highway and road traffic control involves using what is known as temporary traffic control devices. These are the familiar orange cones, barrels, and sometimes even modular barriers used to guide drivers safely through a work zone and protect workers.
Of course, although the use of temporary traffic control equipment and devices is primarily for guiding and channeling vehicle traffic, the main for traffic control systems is to ensure the safety of those drivers and the road workers operating in and around traffic.
In many scenarios, road construction or repairs and highway bridge work activities can impede or even interrupt the normal flow of vehicle traffic along the roadway. This requires highway workers to ensure traffic control for their own on-site trucks and equipment and the regular road or highway vehicles.
And it is through the planned and consistent use of traffic control equipment and devices that these goals can be accomplished. In addition, crews and contractors can help prevent many more common traffic-related hazards while keeping their workers, pedestrians, and drivers safe in and near work zones.
Common Types of Traffic Control Safety Equipment and Their Benefits
Traffic cones are the most ubiquitous road safety device to most drivers. Traffic safety cones are a great way to demarcate pedestrian crossings, temporary lane shifts, shoulder closures, and single-lane closures.
Channelizer drums are used similarly to cones. They can be employed to indicate a change of direction for lane closures and be utilized for separation and crosswalk places in roads or lanes during construction or repairs. These traffic safety devices are perfect for longer-term lane changes and closures due to their size, visibility, and durability.
More than cones, drums, or barricades are needed to make drivers aware of what’s expected of them in a work zone. This is why it is often essential to use various lighted signs, such as arrow signs and message signs, on either the back of trucks or their trailers.
And because much of the road and highway work across the country is often carried out after dark or before sunrise, the utilization of towable light towers is also crucial for safety purposes.
Although not always used or noticed by most drivers passing or navigating through road work areas, specialized vehicles known as attenuators are also key traffic control safety equipment. Having one of these truck-mounted apparatuses positioned along the roadside between a working crew and oncoming traffic is a huge benefit for those workers.
Buying or Renting Your Traffic Control Safety Equipment
Large highway construction enterprises often keep an inventory of various types of traffic control equipment, such as cones and drums. However, purchasing your supply of traffic control safety equipment can be costly in several ways.
The advantages of renting this type of equipment include efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and space savings.
You’ll Save Space
When a construction or repair project is completed, all the equipment has to be stored somewhere. And the space required to keep all of your traffic control equipment means having and paying for additional storage space. And, of course, the larger equipment takes up that much more space. However, by renting this type of equipment, you can eliminate the need for excessive storage.
You’ll Save Money
Getting equipment to a job site costs money. There is the fuel for trucks and other vehicles, the time and labor required for loading, transporting, and unloading equipment, and on and on. By renting equipment such as the traffic control and safety equipment required for each job, you can eliminate a great deal of these added costs.
In addition, traffic safety equipment is notorious for being damaged or destroyed by cars and other vehicles on job sites. Renting also eliminates the need for continually purchasing replacement equipment.
You’ll Save Time
Hand in hand with cost savings, renting the equipment you need when you need it eliminates a great deal of time otherwise required from your crew with loading, transporting, re-loading, and unloading traffic control equipment. And, as every contractor and controller knows, time is money.
Quality Traffic Control Safety Equipment Rentals for Highway Construction Needs
At McClain and Co., LLC, we offer a wide range of quality, reliable, and versatile traffic control equipment and related vehicles.
In addition to traffic cones and drums for use as temporary traffic control channelizing devices, we offer several trailered, towable equipment types, including towable arrow boards, message signs, and light towers. For certain highway and road work projects, additional safety equipment may be necessary for the form of truck-mounted attenuators. McClain has you covered there, as well, with several types to choose from.
With the vast number of highways and bridges across the nation, the safety and integrity of this vital infrastructure require not only routine maintenance but also ongoing repairs, improvements, and other types of highway construction work, as well.
And having the proper equipment to make this work possible is the reason we offer our wide range of products available to our clients.
McClain and Company for the Best in Traffic Control Safety Equipment Rentals
When it comes to Traffic Control Safety equipment rentals, McClain and Company always make it our mission to provide the absolute best in rental equipment as well as outstanding customer service.
No matter what type of equipment is required, our primary objective is to be able to help our clients select the best equipment rentals needed for their projects. With our combined years of both experience and knowledge, we are confident that we can provide you with the information and assistance you need to complete your highway or bridge project in a timely and cost-effective manner.
In addition to our selection of traffic control equipment rentals, McClain and Company also provide our clients with a wide variety of Under Bridge Inspection Units, Hi-Rail Equipment, Utility and Aerial Equipment rentals, as well as related construction services.
So, if you have questions about our equipment rental services or want to learn more about our under bridge inspection unit rentals, you can simply contact us by calling 1.888.889.1284 or emailing us at [email protected].
Also, if you’re already familiar with our equipment selection and you know what equipment you are looking to rent, simply give us a call to request a quote and let us arrange your rental for you.