Keeping Highway Construction Sites Easy, Safe & Clean
There are roughly four million miles of public roadway in the United States, including highways, turnpikes, roads, and streets. Each year, a percentage of this massive network requires repair; because it is difficult to perform roadway and highway repair and construction during the colder months, Spring and Summer bring a surge in construction work that in many parts of the U.S. extends through September and beyond.
As noted by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, “as our highway infrastructure ages, many transportation agencies are focusing on rebuilding and improving existing roadways. This means more roadwork is being performed on roadways that are open to traffic. At the same time, traffic continues to grow and creates more congestion, particularly in urban areas. To avoid major queues during peak travel periods, urban areas are seeing more night work. The combination of more work done alongside increasingly heavier traffic and greater use of night work can result in increased safety considerations for highway workers.”
Safety Considerations for Highway Construction Projects
Highway and roadway construction projects come with a set of special considerations to which contractors must pay close attention. Because construction activities occur near highway lanes where traffic is active and near operating construction vehicles and equipment, the safety of workers must always be top of mind. As DOT notes, more than 20,000 workers are injured annually in road construction work zones, with the leading causes of such injuries being “contact with construction vehicles, objects, and equipment,” most of which are preventable through proper training and the application of best practices.
For more information, DOT publishes a detailed set of resources, regulations, and best practices governing highway worker safety on their website here.
Sanitation Considerations for Highway Construction Projects
Health and safety concerns for highway construction workers extend to sanitation issues. OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has specific portable sanitation regulations applicable to what it terms “mobile crews” of the type utilized in roadway/highway work.
OSHA requires that steps must be taken to “ensure that employees will not suffer the adverse health effects that can result if toilets are not available when employees need them.” An “available” toilet must be one that is clean, functional, and readily accessible to the work crew; as OSHA notes, “toilets that take too long to get to are not ‘available’” per its definition and “toilets that are unsanitary are unusable and therefore are not ‘available.’”
Additionally, when road crews lack ready access to proper sanitation facilities, worker safety may be put at risk, especially when crews must cross trafficked lanes or otherwise travel through busy construction zones to reach a toilet in a fixed structure that may be some distance away.
Portable Sanitation Solutions for Highway Construction Projects
Arranging for the right mix of properly serviced, portable sanitation equipment to be available for highway construction crews on the move while providing workers with safety, comfort, and productivity – can be a challenge. Not every portable sanitation provider is equipped to be mobile, follow the crew along the road, or have the extensive amount of equipment needed for a large project.
United Site Services (USS) has a long history of providing portable sanitation equipment to roadway work sites and offers a full line of temporary site services, including trailer mounted restrooms that can easily move along with the highway work crew, portable restrooms, hand hygiene solutions, temporary fence and barricades, trailer solutions, and more.
We have the largest inventory of equipment in the business with coast-to-coast coverage and supported by a team of 4,000 background-checked and drug-tested employees. Highways are the backbone of our country and at USS our skilled professionals know road infrastructure comes in all shapes and sizes.
Have more questions about best practices for job site sanitation? See our articles below:
- Jobsite Sanitation Requirements
- It’s Time to Upgrade Your Sinks
- Maximize productivity on your work site with the right porta potty options