The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) plans to amend the construction industry standard for the types of traffic control signs, signals and barricades that must be used at roadway work sites.
"By strengthening protections for roadway construction workers, we can save lives and prevent senseless accidents on roads all across our nation," OSHA Administrator John Henshaw said. "At the same time, employers will have a clearer understanding of their responsibilities and greater flexibility in making these work sites as safe as possible."
The rule, which applies to employers involved in road construction and repair operations, would require compliance with the Millennium Edition or Revision 3 of the Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), in place of the 1971 MUTCD.
Among the specific changes, the revised standard:
- Requires retroreflective and illuminated devices at intermediate and long-term stationary temporary traffic control zones;
- Warning devices for mobile operations at speeds above 20 mph;
- Advance warning signs for certain closed, paved shoulders;
- A transition area containing a merging taper when one lane is closed on a multilane road;
- Temporary traffic control devices with traffic barriers that are immediately adjacent to an open lane; and
- Temporary traffic barriers separating opposing traffic on a two-way roadway.
The standard's revision is being made through the direct final rule approach because most employers have been required by the Federal Highway Administration to comply with Revision 3 in lieu of the 1971 MUTCD since 1996. OSHA is publishing a direct final rule and a proposed rule in the same Federal Register notice.
If no significant negative comments are received, the final rule will be effective Aug. 13, although OSHA will withdraw the direct final rule if such negative comments are received and address the comments in formulating a new final rule based on the proposal.
Public comments must be sent in triplicate by June 14 to Docket Office, Docket No. S-018, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Room N2625, Washington, D.C. 20210. Comments that are 10 pages or less may also be faxed to (202) 693-1648.
edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])