Health & Safety, Crazy?

  hssutton 11:21 06 Oct 08
Locked

A large red paint transit works van has just parked on the road adjacent to my home with two workmen to repair a raised water stop tap cover on the footpath.

The first thing they do is pace out 10m and place a cone, then pace out another 10m and place another cone. This is then repeated on the opposite side of the road. On these cones they place triangular road signs, the furthest away a "men at work" sign the nearest to the workmen a "road narrows" sign.

The road narrows sign is approx 24" x 24" are these signs for people with sight impairment who cannot see the large red transit van parked at the side of the road?

if this is the case should all the vehicles parked on the road (4 of them at the moment} do likewise?

  spuds 11:54 06 Oct 08

Can take all forms of disruption.

At 9.30 this morning I was on the phone to a utility company about work that should have been rectified last Monday. Fair dues, within an hour three vans, 5 men turned up, and commenced finishing outstanding work. Not a sign or barrier in sight, but a complete blockage of a pavement area. Hopefully within a 2/4 hours or so they will complete the task in hand!.

Perhaps worth mentioning, the task in hand, is the rectification of trench work, which was boarded over for 3/4 weeks.Then concreted and tarmaced over, which within a week all 'quality controlled' work commenced to break up. They are now digging it all up, and replacing all the previous work again. Further capping (not removal) of obsolete gas pipework. Now someone must be paying for all this,and no doubt its the customer!.

  peter99co 11:56 06 Oct 08

They must carry a standard kit of signs and kit. Set-up also makes the job last longer. The cost of the job probably esculates the final bill and guess who pays for that?

  Chris the Ancient 13:04 06 Oct 08

It may seem H & S gone mad. But it is a legal requirement for contractors to mark out road works in accordance with very strict guidelines laid down by the Department for Transport. These guidelines are available to any contractor who needs them and the guidelines are quite specific as to distances, signage and cones needed.

Fail these guidelines, and the contractor could be held in neglect if there is a crash, or incident, in the vicinity of the works.

Personally, I have two hates with road works.

* Improper signage and markings which cause confusion.

* Temporary traffic lights that have stupidly placed "When red light shows, stop here" signs and temporary traffic lights that do not have the traffic sensors enabled - thus causing queues when nothing is coming the other way (BTW, not having those sensors operating correctly is also an offence!).

CtA

  spuds 13:28 06 Oct 08

I remember a few years ago, when a major roadworks was taking place along a main thoroughfare. All new nice barriers and signs installed. Within an hour of the workmen leaving, a rather heavy HGV demolished the lot. Argument was whether the whole project should have been illuminated, not withstanding nearby street lights ;o((

  Chris the Ancient 13:43 06 Oct 08

An interesting point.

There should be marker lights (those orange things on top of cones) in the hours of darkness. And to compound the legislation, it the marker lights are in an area with street lighting, they should be flashing and in an area with no street lighting, they should be 'steady on' all the time. Trouble is, I know that; but a lot of contractors seem not to!

  hssutton 14:23 06 Oct 08

Chris, not sure if you missed my point. The road narrows sign was put in position due to their van being parked, not because they where working in the road. actually they where working on the boundary of my next doors property

  Chris the Ancient 15:27 06 Oct 08

I did see, and understand, your point. And, within limits, agree wholeheartedly. However, all those signs are something that they must do to stay within the law.

  BT 16:35 06 Oct 08

When there was a Gas leak outside my house last year the repair crew turned up and then sat there for about an hour until a large 10t box van turned up with all the cones and barriers etc. which the driver then set up and photographed with a blackboard with numbers scrawled on it set in front.
The job was finished in a couple of days but the cones etc. remained there for about 10 days, then the big van turned up and removed the cones etc. and the blackboard/numbers was again photographed.

  laurie53 20:41 06 Oct 08

I don't think you'll find that these signs are anything to do with H&S per se, but more a requirement of the Department of Transport, or whatever the currently fashionable name is.

In fact, one of the points I regularly raised on H&S inspections was that road signage did not comply with DoT requirements, mainly in the size and design of signs, not their siting.

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