Traffic Management in the workplace is largely overlooked until an accident occurs, yet vehicles and pedestrians in the same area could be the greatest risk of an accident waiting to happen.
Safe Work Australia has produced a Workplace Traffic Management Code of Practice to assist business and property owners to understand and manage the risks surrounding vehicles and pedestrians. Everyone in the workplace has a responsibility to understand and contribute to managing these risks.
Therefore, any workplace regardless of size is required to mitigate and reduce the risks as far as reasonably practicable. Any workplace from units and shared office blocks, to manufacturing and warehousing sites, to construction, mining and shopping centres require traffic management plans.
As businesses grow and evolve, traffic management plans should be reviewed and updated to keep pace with the workplace. This includes renovations to the building affecting personnel and traffic flow as well as general business growth or seasonal changes to business size.
An effective traffic management plan will be an asset to the business in such a way that it will not hinder productivity but rather increase productivity through clear areas for loading vehicles, forklift zones pedestrian zones etc. This allows your workers to concentrate on the work risks around them and enabling them to concentrate on there task at hand unhindered and within a safer environment.
Communication of your traffic management plan is as great a responsibility as ensuring you have the plan to start with.
For the plan to be effective you must ensure that all visitors, workers, and everyone attending the workplace must understand the elements of the plan related to them and effectively follow them. Humans are a creature of habit who follow visual indicators to get their next action. Make sure your indicators are clear, consistent and easy to follow.
Some questions to ask your team:
- How effective is your traffic management plan?
- Do you have a traffic management plan?
- Is your traffic management plan current and applicable?
- Is everyone aware of the company’s traffic management plan?