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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

SM 445-2-H CHAPTER 17

Work Zone Safety

17.1  Purpose. To specify the minimum Occupational Safety and Health Program (Program) requirements for the safe operation of personnel or contractors working on or around roadways and bridges for the Department of the Interior (Department or DOI) and U.S. Geological Survey (Bureau or USGS) in the performance of official duties.

17.2  References.

A.   United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

17.3  Requirements. The USGS will establish requirements for the development and implementation of local traffic control plans as applicable. This chapter provides instructions on the preparation of a traffic control plans for field operations from bridges and along roadways. Working from bridges and roadways often disturbs traffic flow and poses a serious safety hazard to both USGS field personnel and to the public. To help insure safe working conditions, the USGS requires that each field organization develop a traffic control plan for all bridge and roadway work sites.

The USGS has adopted the traffic control plan developed by the Mississippi Water Resources District as a generic model for use by any organizational component that does not already have such a plan. See http://1stop.usgs.gov/safety/topic/safety_plans/ms_tcp.shtml for information and a template traffic control plan developed by the Water Resources Mississippi District. This model meets the minimum Federal standards as prescribed on Part VI of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices by the USDOT, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Each organizational component should submit a complete traffic control plan to USDOT FHWA (and if required, to the State DOT or local transportation agencies) for review and approval.

Each organizational component, in consultation with its State and/or local jurisdictions, should incorporate appropriate additions or modifications to its traffic control plan and append to the plan an inventory of all job sites that require operations from bridges and along roadways, including a description of the type of roadway, traffic conditions, and any particular physical constraints.

For each site identified in the inventory, a one-page summary should be prepared to indicate those parts of the plan that apply to that particular site and all other special instructions not covered by the general plan. A copy should be filed with the station description, included in the station field folder, and kept in the gagehouse, as appropriate.

A complete traffic control plan should include (a) field instructions for traffic control, (b) instructions for flaggers, (c) vehicle traffic control equipment checklist, (d) traffic control schemes that define the most common road situations, and (e) job site inventory with site-specific summaries. The organizational traffic control plan should be updated as job sites are added and deleted, and/or regulations change, with all records relating to the traffic control plan and its updates should be maintained for reviews by regional or Bureau safety personnel during periodic inspections.

17.4    Responsibilities.

A. Bureau Safety Manager.

(1)  Evaluate Regional Headquarters and regional science programs as feasible, to assess the effectiveness and degree of work zone safety program administration and implementation every 3 years. Evaluations will consider employee training, equipment maintenance, and traffic control plans, at a minimum. Bureau evaluation reports/findings will be provided to the Regional Director/Regional Executives, through the Chief, Office of Regional Services/Regional Safety Manager.

(2)  Assist Regional Safety Managers in developing a traffic control program and coordinating flagger and work zone training, as appropriate.

B. Regional Safety Managers.

(1)  Coordinate the scheduling/conduct of periodic evaluations of Regional Headquarter organizations and Regional science programs to determine the effectiveness and degree of work zone safety program administration and implementation. Evaluations will consider the overall program (i.e., employee training, equipment maintenance, and traffic control plan as a minimum).

(2)  Oversee and coordinate assistance to Regional Safety Officers and Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinators (CDSPC’s) to determine training needs and implement work zone and traffic control safety program requirements.

(3)  Evaluate region-wide training to determine adequacy, cost effectiveness, and appropriateness in meeting regional organizational needs.

C. Regional Safety Officers.

(1) Coordinate the scheduling/conduct of periodic evaluations of regional science program field organizations to determine the effectiveness and degree of work zone and traffic plan  safety program administration and implementation. Evaluations will consider the overall program (i.e., employee training, equipment maintenance, and traffic control plans as a minimum).

(2) Oversee and coordinate assistance to field organizational CDSPC’s in determining training needs, implementation of work zone, and traffic control safety program requirements.

(3) Evaluate training to determine adequacy, cost effectiveness, and appropriateness in meeting regional science program needs.

(4) Provide guidance and assistance to regional science program field management and CDSPC’s in meeting traffic plan requirements.

D. Organizational Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinators (CDSPC’s).

(1)  Establish programs to strengthen employee and supervisor awareness of work zone and traffic control plan program requirements as detailed within this chapter.

(2)  Monitor identified work zone and traffic control plan inspection deficiencies and supervisory corrective action until abated.

(3)  Assist organizational managers/supervisors in meeting traffic control plan requirements.

(4)  Assist supervisors in scheduling flagging training for employees, as appropriate.

(5)  Review organizational traffic control plans in conjunction with the conduct of annual self-inspection and program assessment.

E. Organizational Managers and Supervisors.

(1) Coordinate the development of a traffic control plan for bridge and/or roadway operations for all such sites to meet minimum Federal standards, as prescribed on Part VI of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices by the USDOT, FHWA. See http://1stop.usgs.gov/safety/topic/safety_plans/ms_tcp.shtml for information and a template traffic control plan developed by the Water Resources Mississippi District.

(2) Submit a complete traffic control plan to USDOT, FHWA, and if required, to the State DOT or local transportation agencies for review and approval.  A complete traffic control plan should include field instructions for traffic control, instructions for flaggers, vehicle traffic control equipment checklist, traffic control schemes that define the most common road situations, and job site inventory with site-specific summaries.

(3) Append to the traffic control plan an inventory of all job sites that require operations from bridges and along roadways, including a description of the type of roadway, traffic conditions, and any particular physical constraints.

(4) Prepare a one-page summary for each site identified in the inventory to indicate those parts of the plan that apply to that particular site. All other special instructions not covered by the general plan should be included in this summary.

(5) Implement organizational traffic control plan upon Federal and State/local approval.

(6) Update the traffic control plan to reflect added/deleted job sites and/or regulatory changes as necessary.

(7) Maintain all records relating to the traffic control plan.

F. Personnel.

(1) Comply with traffic control plan requirements and attend flagger training as applicable.

G. Contracting Technical Representatives (COTR’s). Ensure contractor compliance with applicable requirements herein when the USGS arranges to have work performed by a contractor that involves working on or around bridges and roadways.

17.5     Additional Resources.

A.  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

B.  Motor Vehicle Safety (OSHA)

C.  Traffic Safety Digest

D. NHTSA Regional Offices


SM 445-2-H Table of Contents || Handbooks || Survey Manual Home Page
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA
URL: http://www.usgs.gov/usgs-manual/handbook/hb/445-2-h/ch17.html
Contact: APS, Office of Policy and Analysis
Content Information Contact: wrmiller@usgs.gov
Last modification: 13-Feb-2013@17:07 (kk)