Warmer weather usually means one thing when it comes to interstates, highways and roads in Michigan… road construction season. If it seems like work zones are popping up everywhere you look, well, that’s exactly what’s happening. To make things more complicated (and dangerous) it’s also the time of year when more and more people are on the road traveling “up north”, to the beach and to other popular vacation spots.
Of course, all Michigan motorists play an important role in keeping our construction workers (and each other) safe. Each year, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning reports the number of fatal crashes and injuries that occur in construction, maintenance and utility work zones. In 2020, this included:
- 4,035 work zone crashes
- 11 fatal work zone crashes
- 14 work zone fatalities
- 1,050 work zone injuries
It’s also important to note that the highest number of work zone crashes occur when lanes are closed. The second and third-highest number of crashes occur when there is work on the shoulder/median and lane shifts/crossovers. (source: Michigan.gov)
Crystal Flash’s approach to construction safety
Each construction season, Crystal Flash delivers millions of gallons of fuel to power these important projects. These deliveries can either take place directly at active road construction job sites (where possible/allowed) or at various other locations across Michigan, as directed by our construction customers. As you may know, one of CF’s foundational Values is “Safety for People and the Environment”, and accordingly, our employee-owners pride themselves in taking every precaution to make our deliveries in the safest manner possible.
As part of this article on road construction safety, we thought it would also be helpful to turn to our valued customer, Kamminga & Roodvoets, Inc., for some tips on road construction safety specifically for members of the trade. We appreciate them providing the following information.
About Kamminga & Roodvoets, Inc. (K&R)
Kamminga & Roodvoets, Inc. is a highway and underground contractor working primarily in the public sector. The great majority of their work comes via state, county and municipal contracts. They have built projects as large as the M-6 by-pass around Grand Rapids and as small as bike paths in Cascade Township. Their current work includes the installation of 96” sewer in downtown Grand Rapids and the reconstruction of the M-179 and US-131 interchange near Bradley.
5 Road Construction Site Safety Tips
(Courtesy of Kamminga & Roodvoets, Inc.)
- On construction sites, storage can be a difficult task when there is not a lot of room. Common things that typically are overlooked when placing fuel tanks are aerial power lines. Fuel tanks shall always be stored 25 feet plus 1 inch per 1,000 volts, measured horizontally, from the center line of electric power lines.
- OSHA defines a confined space as meeting all the following criteria: Is large enough for an employee to bodily enter and work; and has limited or restricted means of entry and exit; and is not designed for continuous occupancy. Once it is determined that this is a confined space, always conduct atmospheric testing before entering.
- Each service or fueling area shall be provided with at least one fire extinguisher having a rating of not less than 20-B:C. The location of the extinguisher shall be within 75 feet of each pump, dispenser, underground fill pipe opening, and lubrication or service area.
- When entering a construction site, always remember to wear proper safety Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), be aware of your surroundings, and never turn your back to traffic.
- Before an excavation begins, make sure 811 has been called and your MISSDIG ticket has cleared. The qualified person must also ensure that an ongoing inspection is being done of the excavation. If the excavation is deeper than 5 feet, proper shoring, benching or a trench box must be utilized.
For more information about Crystal Flash and our services for the construction trade, contact our employee-owners at 800.875.4851 or visit crystalflash.com/commercial-services.
To learn more about Kamminga & Roodvoets, Inc., call 616.949.0800 or visit kammingaroodvoets.com.