Staying safe when dealing with road maintenance is tough! Whether you are cleaning up potholes form a nasty winter or grading rural roads, hidden obstacles are everywhere! Here are five things to look for tips on how to stay safe when maintaining the roads in your area.
1) Check for hidden obstacles.
Do a cursory check around the area you are working on. Look for things such as bumper stops and speed bumps, curbs, sidewalk edges, shrubs, water drains, fire hydrants, fences and pipes sticking up from the ground.
To prevent damage to your equipment and increase uptime, mark obstructions so they are visible from your work area.
2) Know your surfaces.
Are you resurfacing soft, medium or hard surfaces? This can affect the kinds of tools you use and ensure you have the right tools for the job. Tools are made for specific surfaces and can break or cause vibration or sheering if not used properly.
3) Maintain your equipment throughout the year.
Keep a handy checklist with all of your equipment and make sure to review following all OSHA recommended safety measures before each use.
4) Improve sight distances.
Clear vegetation from the right of way in locations where animal crossing are likely and at horizontal and vertical curves, intersections, and driveway locations.
5) Maintain the road surface.
Too much surface water can weaken a roadbed resulting in rutting, potholes, shoulder erosion, ditch washouts, and clogged culverts (source).
Provide well-graded, crushed surfacing aggregate with adequate binder to reduce raveling, dust, loose aggregate, and washboards. Additionally, ensure adequate drainage with timely ditch and culvert maintenance to prevent saturated surface or sub-base conditions or frequent overtopping of the roadway.
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