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Roadworks

When working on roads or in other areas where there is a risk of being run over, arrangements must be made which effectively safeguard the workers by means of guards and markers, for example.

All work carried out next to or on roads, cycle paths and pavements is subject to the rules of the road, and planning in accordance with these rules is required.

Delineation plan

If work is carried out next to or on roads, cycle paths and pavements, the contractor must prepare a delineation plan which must be approved by the local roads authority. If this delineation plan includes changes to the speed limit on the road, closure of the road, diversions or prioritisation, the delineation plan must also be approved by the police. The delineation plan must be accessible at the work site. Barriers must be designed in compliance with the rules defined by the Danish Road Directorate.
The delineation plan should be created at the same time as you plan the road project. This will make it easier to adapt working methods and processes to the delineation so as to make this optimal.

Equipment for delineation must be compliant with the rules laid down in the executive order on delineation.

Be aware that more stringent rules are applicable to work on major roads. Some road authorities, including the Danish Road Directorate, require anyone carrying out roadworks to have completed the course “Vejen som arbejdsplads” [The road as a place of work].

Protection levels

In connection with the delineation plan, a description must be prepared of the protection levels selected in connection with the planned roadworks. There must be one copy of this plan at the work site.

We differentiate between 8 protection levels which indicate different types of arrangement. These are dependent on factors such as:

  • The type of road works in question
  • Where the work is being carried out
  • Traffic density and associated speed levels
  • The duration of the planned roadworks

It is assumed that the speed level along the roadworks will not exceed the speed limit or the recommended speed.

Besides the above safety arrangements, it is assumed that:

  • the workers on the road will be dressed in high visibility clothing,
  • vehicles in the traffic area will have their indicator lamps on (yellow flashing lights).

The 8 protection levels are explained and illustrated further in “Notebook for delineation of roadworks, etc.”, which can be downloaded from www.bar-ba.dk

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Signage

Signs and other equipment for delineation must always be in the correct condition, properly maintained and used correctly. It is also important to select the right equipment which e.g. is of the correct strength and will not roll over so that it is able to perform its function even if it is subject to severe physical loads.

Examples of delineation equipment:

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Traffic barriers

Traffic barriers must prevent road users driving into the excavated area and safeguard people working in the excavated area to prevent them being run over.

Traffic barriers must be positioned as specified by the manufacturer’s instructions, including the deflection width at the specified speed. Traffic barriers must be positioned with absolute minimum spacing corresponding to the maximum deflection width.

People must not remain within the work-free area, and tools and excavated soil must not be stored there. It must also be kept clear of traffic.

The traffic barriers used must be tested and approved, and so concrete blocks (Hoffman blocks) cannot be used as traffic barriers. A traffic barrier is a strong barrier which is able to withstand collisions (steel barriers or concrete elements which are compliant with the test requirements in DS/EN 1317-2).

Red/white plastic tape is not an approved delineation material and must not be used.

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Illuminated barriers

Illuminated barriers of various kinds are another very effective form of delineation equipment and are often used for short jobs (placed on light arrow signs, longitudinal lights, transverse lights, etc.). If powerful warning lights are required, you must ensure that you have access to the necessary amount of power and current intensity.

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In the case of roadworks where excavation work takes place, and this excavation work is carried out using facilities, the distance from the edge of the excavation to the carriageway must be at least the depth of the excavation. This distance is important as vibration from the passing traffic may cause the excavation to collapse.

Permanent and mobile roadworks

There are two types of roadworks:

  1. Mobile roadworks involve both mobile work using machinery and short-term work where the barrier does not remain in place the whole night.
  2. Stationary roadworks are normally works where the barrier must remain in place overnight.

The work site must be clearly divided into the work area and the non-work area.
A work area is the actual work site and the necessary free areas, traffic areas, verges, etc. are where tools, materials and similar are placed.

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A non-work area can be found between the work area and the barrier to the carriageway and must be kept free of equipment and people.

Longitudinal barriers are used to separate the traffic area and the work area/non-work area.

Specifically, this takes place by establishing a clear area of at least 1 m between the work area and the barrier to the carriageway. No work may take place here, nor may materials be placed here.

The barrier must consist of a transverse barrier against the traffic and a longitudinal barrier between the traffic and the work site. There must be a visible marker so that the clear area can be kept free.

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If it is not possible to establish a 1 m non-work area, there must be other justifiable solutions.

This situation often occurs in the case of repairs, work on refuges and work at junctions, and so other solutions have to be selected here. This is described in the Notebook for delineation of roadworks, etc., which can be found at
www.bar-ba.dk.

Reflective workwear

When working on roads and road areas, reflective workwear must be worn so that employees are visible to road users. This is also applicable when walking/being transported to and from the secured work area.

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Reflective clothing is divided into 3 classes:

  • Class 3 – reflective clothing is selected if the surrounding traffic is travelling at speeds in excess of approx. 60 kph.
  • Class 2 – reflective clothing is selected if the surrounding traffic is travelling at speeds between approx. 30 and approx. 60 kph.
  • Class 1 – reflective clothing or a higher class is selected if the surrounding traffic is travelling at approx. 30 kph or below.

It is assumed that the speed level along the roadworks will not exceed the speed limit or the recommended speed.

However, be aware that traffic may nevertheless be travelling at a higher speed than signposted. Always use class 3 clothing if there is any doubt, e.g. In the case of working positions which reduce the visibility of the reflective areas, or if needs change.

You should only use either class 2 or class 3 in the case of roadworks. The part of the fabric which does not reflect the light must be yellow, orange or red.

Inspectors and visitors must wear the same clothing as employees, as a minimum.

If the reflective clothing is used during welding work at the same time, the fabric must also be fire-retardant.

Cleaning

Poor or incorrect cleaning of reflective workwear makes it less visible. This can generally only be seen when a light is shone on the clothing in the dark. Impaired effectiveness can lead to serious accidents, and so it is important to follow the guidance of the manufacturer in respect of cleaning and washing.

Protective footwear

You should wear especially protective footwear during all types of roadworks as there is almost always a risk of injuring your feed.

See section 6 for more information on personal protective equipment.