In order to meet compliance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, local government, road construction organisations and public utility authorities are required to design, approve and implement TCPs. There are also other specific requirements under associated regulations and standards set out by respective Government Authorities (e.g. WorkCover, WorkSafe, Australian Standards and the various Road Authorities).
When construction, maintenance and special events suspend or interrupt the normal function of the roadway, a traffic control plan is developed to ensure the safety of all road users, and the protection of workers.
The plan shows how traffic is to be safely separated from workers at the worksite or work route. It is an instruction for the site/road crews and is usually in the form of a diagram showing the road conditions (lanes, signs etc.) and how the traffic is to be managed around the site / activities (temporary signs, posting of traffic control staff, etc.).
Traffic control plans (TCP’s) are detailed drawings that show the layout of temporary road signs and devices to warn and guide traffic past, around and through the work site safely.
A TCP is part of a work health and safety (WHS) requirement of a worksite (i.e. a copy should be available on site). It should adhere to the principles outlined in respective traffic control for road works manuals established by each State and Territory and Australian Standards (AS 1742.3).
The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 provide regulations to ensure the health and safety of workers by minimising workplace risks. Under this act, the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) is responsible for ensuring that those in and around the worksite are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. In regard to road works safety, there is the added responsibility to ensure that road users are able to travel through or around work sites safely.
There are many such risks associated with traffic control, which is why there must be sufficient signage surrounding the site informing road users of the upcoming worksite well in advance of the actual work area. The placement of road signs must then be given careful consideration, no matter how long the worksite will be there. The signs themselves are official and enforceable by law. All signs and devices must be suitable for worksite conditions and must be used in accordance with the specific traffic control for road works manuals.
Any business organisation intending to commence work that might obstruct or interfere with traffic and/or associated with working on roads or road related areas, is required to deploy trained person/s to select, design/modify and set-up appropriate TCPs.
Persons conducting a business or undertaking responsible for construction or maintenance work must adhere to the principles outlined in manuals such as:
(Policies and requirements vary from state to state).
Adherence to the respective manuals will ensure that the workforce is able to work safely in the vicinity of road users and their work site plant. The PCBUs (person conducting a business or undertaking) must provide the technical background and guidance for the placement of temporary traffic control signs and devices used at road works.