Retroreflectivity & Sign Visibility

Sign visibility in construction, school and pedestrian zones has always been a big priority for increasing safety. With advances in technology, there are better options available to help decrease the likelihood of accidents.  To understand reflectivity and visibility, it is helpful to understand a few important terms first.

Sheeting – is the  front of the sign that is attached to the substrate.  The sheeting helps determine both the retroreflectivity and the sturdiness of the sign. The majority of traffic signs are required to be reflective according to the the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and OSHA.

Retroreflectivity – retroreflectivity is a measure of a materials’s a ability to reflect light back to its originating source and affects the visibility of the sign it’s used on.  Engineer grade reflective was once the standard for sheeting material on reflective signs but new FHWA regulations have replaced this material with materials like High-Intensity (Prismatic) Reflective and Diamond Grade Reflective. Prismatic reflective sheeting meets all of the FHWA, MUTCD and OSHA requirements. Diamond Grade Reflective is now the standard used when very high retroreflectivity is needed to ensure greater visibility.  Hilly roadways, roads with sharp turns and/or really dim lit roads are all candidates for this type of sheeting material.

Traffic Safety Warehouse carries a huge assortment Engineer Grade products,  High Intensity Prismatic Sheeting products  and Diamond Grade Sheeting safety products including barricades, channelizers and diamond grade tape.  If you have questions concerning which is the most appropriate grade for your project, just give us a call.

More Resources on Sign Reflectivity and Visibility Requirements:

FHWA Sign Retroreflectivity Requirements 

OSHA Safety Requirements for Signs, Signals and Barricades

MUTCD Sign Retroreflectivity Requirements

Why Water Filled Barriers?

Water filled barriers are increasingly becoming the barrier of choice over conventional devices for providing added safety to work zone areas.  It is a very versatile product which great durability.  No sandbags are needed and deployment is easy. Additionally, they are very portable and provide excellent visibility because of their brighter color.  They require less maintenance than more traditional installed work zone devices and help clearly delineate the entrances and exits for travel through the traffic work zone.

An interesting fact is that when it comes to construction road safety, statistics show that four out of five people killed in construction zone deaths are the driver of the vehicle or their passengers and NOT the construction worker*.  Over the years, most of the safety concerns have been placed on protecting construction crew and very little focus has been place on the protection of drivers and their passengers.  As a result, many sites still use concrete barriers in these traffic construction zones.  Unfortunately, fatalities and serious injuries have been shown to be higher for concrete barriers.  Water filled barriers can be a much better choice that helps keep everyone safer.

Traffic Safety Warehouse carries an assortment of the most popular barriers and barricades on the market.  Our products are very competitively priced and you can save additional money on larger orders. Call us at 877-966-108 to learn more. Or contact us on the website >>

*source: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2004-04-06/news/0404060150_1_construction-zone-aggressive-driving-motor-vehicle-crashes

OSHA Rebar Caps

Rebar can be found on almost every construction site.  It is used to help keep the cement stable and improve the structural stability of the concrete. Unfortunately, the protruding rebar can be extremely dangerous. Employees or pedestrians that fall on exposed rebar can be seriously injured or even killed so OSHA has come out with standards for rebar caps to help keep the construction zone safer for everyone. OSHA requires that any exposed rebar be covered by rebar caps.  Traffic Safety Warehouse offers OSHA Rebar Caps made of space age high density polymer to protect against impalement injuries.  These rebar caps meet new OSHA requirement 344.90. Besides their sturdy protective surface they are also made in high visibility colors like lime green and orange to further enhance safety.

We also carry the more standard mushroom rebar caps which have a mushroom shaped surface and also come in high visibility colors. These rebar caps are to be used only where danger of impalement doesn’t exist. You can find all the rebar cap offerings with our facility safety products >>

Wheel Chocks

Wheel chocks , also called wheel stops or wheel blocks, come in a variety of sizes and shapes and can be made from different types of materials. They are used to prevent a vehicle from rolling forward or backward.

Wheel chock uses:

Wheel chocks are used to keep a vehicle from rolling when the opposite end is lift. Wheel chocks are also often used with large, parked trucks to ensure the vehicle doesn’t roll and cause damage to property.  Off road chocks can be used in construction when builders need to park in areas that do not have roadways yet and the land is uneven.  Additionally, airplanes use wheel chocks to keep them from moving from their parked spot.

How to use wheel chocks when lifting a vehicle:

1) Park the vehicle on a level surface.

2) Set the parking break

3) Figure out which way the car would roll if you were to lift up the end you are planning to lift.

4) Place the chock between the ground and the back end of the wheel (furthest away from the side you are lifting).  Then kick the chock toward the wheel to make sure it is securely in place.

5) Place a second chock on the front end of the same wheel and again, kick it toward the wheel to make sure it is secure.

6) For maximum safety, secure the second wheel on that end of the vehicle the same way. So if you are lifting the front of the vehicle, you would be placing wheel chocks on the back two wheels.  If you are lifting the back end of the vehicle, you would be placing chocks on the front two wheels.

Buying Wheel Chocks:

 Traffic Safety Warehouse carries a variety of wheel chocks including:

Liquid Stabilizer

This is a product I found to be very interesting. The video as it shows its ability to stabilize liquids in action.  It fascinates me to see the technology that people come up with.  The baffles are designed to stabilize the movement of liquid cargo  during transport.  They are fast and easy to use with a self-locking assembly that requires no tools to put together.  They can just be added through the manways (16″ or bigger) allowing you to haul large loads of liquid much safer.  See the video below for a demonstration and the graph will show you how many baffles are needed for the size of liquid load.

View Liquid Surge Stabilizers >>

Amount Needed for Load Size (Baffles sold in boxes of 28)
Liquid Stabilizers Graph

Gemstone Vertical Panels

Plasticade has a great video describing their Gemstone Vertical Panel which we wanted to share.  These panels are among the best designed in the industry with faceted sidewalls which allow the panel to snap back into place if it’s run over.  They also have a recessed sheeting panel to protect the sheeting and help it last longer.  Additional reinforcement in the base adds extra support to resist splitting and tearing.

In addition to their use for channeling traffic, these vertical panels are very useful in parking lot applications. They come in orange and white colors to fit state requirements and the bases are made out of recycled rubber to help make it more environmentally friendly.  It’s a great, durable product all around and we highly recommend them for your parking lot and traffic control needs.

View the Gemstone Vertical Panel Video:

View More Vertical Panels >>

Rubber Speed Bumps, Rubber Car Stops

Rubber speed bumps and car stops have solved many of the problems associated with the asphalt and concrete versions of these products.  Rubber speed bumps and car stops are extremely durable and resistant to breaking and chipping. They are lightweight and can be installed by one person on any road surface.  This results in a dramatic decrease in installation costs. Unlike their concrete and asphalt counterparts, rubber car stops and bumps will not cause damage to vehicles and their color wil not fade so their visibility will always be good. This is especially important at night when visibility is more limited.  Additionally, rubber speed bumps and stops can be moved easily.  Concrete speed bumps are permanent and difficult to remove.  When trying to remove a concrete speed bump, it may be necessary to close the road temporarily, another added expense.

All around rubber speed bumps and car stops are a better choice for traffic control.  The cost, labor needed, durability and ease of moving these products is a great benefit.

 

Traffic Control Devices & Requirements

Traffic Control Devices

Using Appropriate Traffic Control Devices for Traffic Control

Traffic control devices are signs, signals or other marking devices which are used to regulate and guide traffic. They warn both cars and pedestrians of possible dangers on the street or highway. These devices are paramount for promoting highway safety and the efficient flow of traffic through construction or other dense traffic zones.

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) is recognized as one of the most widely used standards for traffic control. If you are unsure whether your traffic control equipment is appropriate for the job, this document will help you with many of your questions.  The latest edition was just updated in May of 2012 and is available online in pdf form with a ‘hot links’ version to make finding answers to your questions even easier:

Traffic Control Device Manual

 

Manual on Uniform Trafic Control Devices
(Regular and Hot Links PDF Versions)

In this manual you will find best practice standards, traffic control marking, and requirements for traffic control equipment from regulatory signs and traffic barricades to safety fences and school crossing signs. There is very detailed information on colors, sizes and other requirements which you will find very useful.
Of course, if you have more questions, we invite you to call our staff and we can help you choose the appropriate traffic control devices for your project.  You can call us toll free at (877) 966-1018.

Safety Wear

The spring and summer seasons are also road construction seasons and keeping workers safe is high priority.  Many people have questions about which safety wear is needed for what jobs and what requirements the safety wear needs to meet.   ANSI/ISEA  is a voluntary industry standard which  specifies the requirements expected for high-visibility safety wear for construction workers, utility workers, landscaping, and fire fighters.

There are many different types of safety wear including safety headware, safety vests, safety pants, jackets and shirts.  Depending on the type of work being performed, persons in construction or otherwise high traffic areas should be aware of the the three levels of high visibility apparel standards.

Class 1 Safety Wear: Appropriate where there is plenty of separation of workers from vehicle traffic and where the work area is not complex.  Additionally, traffic speeds are not expected to exceed 25 mph in these areas. This class of safety wear are often seen on parking service personnel, warehouse staff, and those doing shopping cart or sidewalk maintenance.

Class 2 Safety  Wear:  Appropriate when work activities take place closer to traffic and where these activities may divert worker attention from approaching traffic with speeds exceeding 25 mph. The Class 2 safety apparel is often seen in greater than 25 mph construction zones, parking and tollway personnel, school crossing guards, airport grounds personnel and those directing traffic.

Class 3 Safety Wear: Appropriate for workers who are exposed to higher vehicle speeds and/or reduced sight distances.  The worker must be visible throughout body movement and must be identifiable as a person at a distance of 1,280 feet away.  These garments provide the best visibility with lots of extra reflective surface and they must have sleeves with retroreflective material between the shoulder and arm to make movement more noticeable.   These are often used by railway workers, roadway construction staff, vehicle operators and accident site investigators.

There are several different colors to choose from when it comes to safety wear.  The flourescent yellow green is thought to be the most visible color for dusk and dawn when there is less light.  It can also provide some contrast for those in work zones with orange traffic cones and safety equipment.  The flourescent orange color is also a very popular color and has good contrast for areas that have more foliage.  This is typically the safety color in work zones.  However, if you are trying not to blend in with a plethora of other orange safety equipment then as stated above, the flourescent yellow green may be a better choice.

If you still have questions about which safety apparel to order, give us a call at (877) 966- 1018 and we can help answer your questions.