Safety first when working roadside

Posted by Cathy Houghton at

Whether you're carrying out essential maintenance works or creating new road layouts, working roadside is a dangerous job. 

With large pieces of equipment and machinery used and faced with moving vehicle traffic if roads aren't closed completely, this job requires various risk assessments for roadside working and all workers remaining vigilant at all times. 

Safety first when working roadside

Of course, there's no getting around it; road and motorway maintenance must be carried out regularly to keep all road users safe.  However, the roadside can be a dangerous place to work, becoming more dangerous and unsafe at night, when the light fades and darkness sets in. 

Roadworks often take place at night as roads are less busy.  However, at night you're inevitably harder to see and, in some cases, not seen until it's too late. 

This is where PPE becomes a necessary must. 

High visibility workwear can include items such as the Snickers work trousers, overalls, footwear, coats, gloves, etc. Ideally, these pieces of personal protective equipment should be suitable for all weather and working conditions. 

Working in a hazardous environment 

It is a legal requirement to protect road workers from harm, putting various preventative safety measures in place.  Such measures may include providing appropriate PPE, traffic control signals, additional lighting, and more. 

One of the main hazards of working at night is the low visibility, meaning workers are harder to see, which unfortunately makes accidents and collisions more probable. 

Having the right PPE to protect workers from such dangers is vital, ensuring people around them and drivers approaching them can see them clearly at all times. 

Types of appropriate PPE 

  • Hard hats 
  • Steel toe boots/shoes 
  • Hi-vis safety vests with reflective strips – (providing hi-vis safety vests of this sort) are also legal requirements of employers). 
  • Goggles 
  • Gloves 
  • Hi-vis trousers/shorts/overalls 

Snickers workwear 

Snickers is a renowned workwear brand known for the quality of hi-vis workwear items they have to offer.  Workwear items have fast become a necessity for roadside workers. 

Items such as the Snickers trousers, hi-vis with kneepad pockets, these are an advanced work trouser that is also contemporary in its design.  Offering great flexibility and functionality so you can get on with the job at hand, reflective strips are also included on the back of the legs of these trousers for enhanced visibility.   

Because not all work is carried out in the winter, Snickers also offers their Snickers short range, again providing the high level of visibility required to keep workers safe at all times and providing the comfort of working in those hot summer months. 

Then we come to the most popular ranges of Snickers Flexi work.  This product range includes products that allow workers to `layer up.`  

For example, the Snickers Flexiwork fleece jacket is perfect as an additional layer under the bulkier hi-vis workwear jackets. 

The seamless helmet liner and stretch fleece beanies are also popular items from this range. 

However, it is the Snickers Flexiwork hi-vis work trouser that is most noteworthy.  These super-light, flexible, high visibility trousers have a high-tech body-mapped design with ventilating stretch fabric, advanced knee guard protection, easy to access holster pockets, and much more. 

To check out the full Snickers range, make sure to check out our pages online HERE. 

Your road safety checklist 

The Highway PPE regulations state: 

You must carry out appropriate risk assessments to assess the safety systems in place for those required to work at the roadside. 

All vehicles and equipment must be well maintained and of an appropriate standard. 

All roadside workers should be trained and fully up to date with all safety procedures and the latest protocols. 

Hi-vis workwear must be provided inline with the highway PPE regulations. 

The Highways Agency website and the Health and Safety Executive offer a great range of guidance and information on their sites relating to the different job roles and requirements of working safely on the roadside. 

PPE supplies for working roadside 

  • Area demarcation 
  • Protective gloves 
  • Eye and face protection 
  • Correct tools 
  • Safety footwear 
  • Hi-vis clothing 
  • Respiratory protection 
  • Traffic cones 
  • Lamps and other suitable lighting 
  • First aid kits 
  • Hearing protection 
  • And much more. 

Appropriate PPE should be provided to all employees, and it should fit perfectly.  All employees should also be trained on the correct use of PPE before handing this over. 

Through appropriate PPE, traffic management, and monitoring of health and safety guidelines, workers and road users can be kept safe, kept visible, and out of harm's way at all times. 

It's also important to ensure you work with local city councils, health and safety officials, and all other supportive regulatory bodies/authorities for all roadside projects and maintenance work.  As well as incorporate all risk assessments into your planning and ongoing assessments and checks. 

Read the next topic: How To Keep Hi-Vis Clothing Clean

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