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Work on Roads

Designers Knowledge Base

This includes work adjacent to, the maintenance and construction of roads.


Working on roads has significant hazards, to be aware of, such as those that follow.

Hazards and risks

  • traffic: the management of traffic, working adjacent to moving traffic and the intrusion of vehicles onto the site
  • falls: into route of traffic and from retaining walls
  • plant and machinery: collisions between plant, traffic and pedestrians
  • health hazards: noise, vibration, dust, solvents and contaminated land
  • slips, trips and falls

Possible design considerations

In order to eliminate or mitigate some of the hazards and risks associated with road works the designer may wish to give consideration to the following design options:

  • consider advance drainage works, watercourse diversions etc for easier access and movement of machinery etc
  • ensure any necessary temporary diversion of traffic causes the least disruption elsewhere
  • consider the location of major overhead or underground services with respect to expected working methods
  • ensure temporary traffic management measures, temporary signage and lighting is incorporated into partially completed works
  • programme the contract periods to avoid seasonal peak traffic
  • design to reduce frequency of maintenance, particularly for more heavily trafficked routes
  • when work is adjacent to high speed traffic consider the diversion of all traffic or the closure of one carriageway or, where appropriate, the closure of one lane to create a buffer zone