OSHA Gives Green Light to Amend Standard for Signs and Signals

April 16, 2002
The rule would require compliance with the Millennium Edition or Revision 3 of the Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

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])

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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