Traffic management in your workplace – Tips to keep everyone safe!

Public news

Managing traffic is an important part of ensuring the workplace is without risks to health and safety and a recent near-miss at an Adelaide automotive business has prompted us to give you tips on how to avoid a costly mistake.

Traffic at a workplace can include:

  • Vehicles like cars, trucks, vans, buses and powered mobile plant like forklifts
  • Cyclists, and
  • Pedestrians including workers, visitors to the workplace and members of the public.

Where there are cars, trucks or forklifts at your workplace, there is a risk that they will collide with people, including customers and other site visitors. Workers unfamiliar with the operation of a particular vehicle or a customer’s driving ability can add to the risks associated with moving vehicles and it is essential that operators of equipment and onsite vehicles are well trained.

Traffic areas in workplaces must therefore be controlled. A traffic management plan is a set of rules for managing the safest and most efficient movement of traffic at your workplace. It should contain practical, workable controls for all vehicles, including forklifts.

Vehicles moving in and around a workplace, reversing, loading and unloading are often linked with death and injuries to workers and other people. These injuries account for around 50% of the automotive sector's work injury claims, according to ReturnToWorkSA. Effective traffic management can help keep a workplace safe by ensuring traffic moves safely and efficiently within, through and around the workplace.

Safety Solutions

  • Designate pedestrian exclusion zones and walkways.
  • Fix mirrors at blind corners and other areas to aid visibility.
  • Use a person to direct reversing vehicles – this person should be in visual contact with the driver at all times and wear high-visibility clothing.
  • Keep non-essential workers away from reversing areas.
  • Ensure reversing areas are well lit and clearly marked with signs or line markings.
  • Ensure workers have appropriate drivers’ licences (full or provisional).
  • Train workers in different vehicle controls and operation, and in driving on/off hoists.
  • Clearly mark exclusion zones with physical barriers (e.g. chains or bollards), signs, reflective paint or witches’ hats.
  • Designate a safety zone for the delivery driver – they should be seen by the forklift operator at all times when their vehicle is being loaded or unloaded.
  • Provide ways to warn pedestrians and vehicle drivers that loading/unloading is in progress (e.g. signage, cones, lights, alarms and horns).

Traffic Management Plans

A person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) who uses vehicles, powered mobile plant or other load shifting equipment may develop and implement a traffic management plan. A traffic management plan documents and helps you communicate how risks will be managed at the workplace.

Should you require any assistance in developing a Traffic Management Plan for your work place please contact MTA’s WR department by clicking here.