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Safety Audit Checklist for Roadworks

MAIN ROADS Western Australia 148145794.doc

September 1997
Road Safety Audits have been used in Western Australia for several years. They have, however largely focussed on projects at design stage and on existing roads. This document extends the general principles of Road Safety Auditing as detailed in the AUSTROADS publication Road Safety Audit for road construction works. Before examining the checklists for road construction works it is necessary to quickly outline some key principles of Road Safety Auditing. A Road Safety Audit is a formal examination of an existing or future road and traffic project, or any project which interacts with road users, by which an independent, qualified examiner who reports on the projects crash potential and safety performance. The purpose of the Road Safety Audit is to examine the crash potential and safety performance of the road or road proposal. It is a formal process using a defined procedure rather than an informal check. The outcome of a road safety audit is a Road Safety Audit Report, which identifies any road safety deficiencies and if appropriate, makes recommendations aimed at removing or reducing these deficiencies. The benefit of this is;

The likelihood of crashes on the road network can be reduced Severity of crashes is reduced Road safety is given greater prominence in the minds of road designers and traffic engineers The need for costly remedial work is reduced The total cost of a project to the community, including crashes, disruption and trauma is reduced.

It is essential that personnel conducting a safety audit have previously acquired knowledge of a range of conditions and operational requirements associated with the roadworks to be audited. A road construction safety audit should be performed by a person or team of people who have sufficient experience and expertise in the areas of road safety engineering, road construction works, crash investigation and prevention, and traffic engineering. A cross-fertilisation of ideas can result from discussions involving a team with diverse backgrounds who possess different approaches, thus leading to a more in-depth approach than that would be obtained using a single person. Experience in road safety engineering and an aptitude for crash investigation and prevention techniques are key skills for a successful road safety auditor. These skills should be linked to an understanding of traffic engineering, road construction and traffic management together with knowledge in road design techniques. As well as these requirements a road safety auditor should have undertaken the Road Safety Audit Training course. The team leader for the road safety audit should have worked on at least five road safety audits as a team member.

General Process
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The whole basic process can be summed up in a few basic straight forward steps.

The designer or client needs to select the auditor or audit team with appropriate skills and independence. The designer must then provide background information by collecting plans and site information for the auditor and provide a statement of the projects objectives. A commencement meeting must then be held with the client, designer and auditor all present to discuss the audit and hand over the information. The auditor must then assess the documents (use checklists, drawings, data and field notes) as well as inspect the site both by day and night. The types of road users and likely conditions must be considered as a result of the inspection. A report must be written by the auditor to identify items of safety deficiency and make recommendations. For major projects it is usually necessary for the client/designer plus the auditor to once again meet, in the form of a completion meeting, where the recommendations can be discussed. The client/designer must then consider each recommendation, and document reasons for accepting or rejecting each one. A copy of this report must be forwarded to the auditor for feedback. Elements of the project are then redesigned according to the recommendations.

As well as knowledge of general road safety and traffic engineering reference documentation, roadworks safety audit personnel should be familiar with the following specific documents:
1. Road Safety Audit, AUSTROADS, 1994, Australia 2. Australian Standard 1742.3 1985 (Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Part 3 Traffic Control Devices for works on roads) 3. Traffic Management At Road Works. Main Roads Competency Based Training Manual. 4. General Field Guide, 1995. Main Roads. Traffic Management For Roadworks 5. Road Traffic Act and Road Traffic Code 6. Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984. 7. Code of Practice - Roadworks. Main Roads 8. Road Safety Audit - Operational Guidelines. Main Roads

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Roadworks Site
1. General items
1.Horizontal and Vertical Alignment 2.Turning Radii and Tapers 3.Sight and Stopping Distances 4.Traffic lane Safety and Visibility 5.Street Lighting and other Delineation 6.Roadworks Signs 7.Access to Property

2. Traffic Signs and Pavement Markings

1.Signs 2.Location/Placement 3.Day /Night Requirements 4.Control 5.Delineation and Reflective Markers 6.Pavement Marking 7.Detours

3. Traffic Signals
1.Temporary Traffic Signals 2.Location 3.Visibility 4.Signals Display 5.Traffic Movements

4. Pedestrians and Cyclists

1.Paths 2.Elderly and Disabled 3.Cyclists 4.Safe Grates 5.Warning

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5. Road Pavement
1.Pavement Defects 2.Skid Resistance 3.Ponding 4.Loose Screenings

6. Traffic Speed Management

1.Speed Restriction Signs 2.Speed Management 3.Signs Requirements

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Existing Roadworks (Stage 5) Location :_______________________________________________________ Date of On-Site Inspection : (Day) ___ /___ /___ (Night) ___ /___ / ___ Time : _______________________________ Weather : ___________________



Issues to be considered
Are the road works located safely with respect to horizontal and vertical alignment?


Horizontal And Vertical Alignment

If not, does works signing cater for this?

Are turning radii and tapers constructed in accordance with guidelines?

Turning Radii and Tapers

Are the tapers delineated by road works cones where necessary? Are the width of the lanes satisfactory for the traffic using the works area? Are the alignment of kerbs, traffic islands and medians satisfactory?

Sight and Stopping Distances

Are sight and stopping distances in accordance with guidelines?

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Issues to be considered
Are bus stops appropriately located with adequate clearance from the traffic lane for safety and visibility?


Traffic Lane Safety and Visibility

Can passengers safely walk to and from bus stops?

Is appropriate street lighting or other delineation provided at the road works to ensure that the site is safe at night? (Note: the site must be visited at night to determine this)

Street Lighting and other Delineation

Is the work area safe for pedestrians and cyclists at night?

6 Have unnecessary signs been removed when works are not in progress (eg. at night)? Do the roadworks adversely affect property access?

Roadworks Signs

Access to Property

Have the owners been consulted with, etc?

CHECKLIST Traffic Signs and Pavement Markings

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Issues to be considered
Are all necessary regulatory, warning and direction signs in place?



Are they correctly placed clean, and conspicuous? Do they conform in general with AS 1724.3 1996 and Main Roads Department of WA Guidelines, or other recognised guidelines? If Chevron alignment markers are installed, have the correct types of markers been used?
2 Are traffic signs in their correct locations, and properly positioned with respect to lateral clearance and height?

Location/ Placement

Are signs placed so as not to restrict sight distance, particularly for turning vehicles?
3 Are the correct signs used for each situation including at night where required, and is each sign necessary? Are other traffic control devices according to standards and used correctly?

Day/Night Signs Requirements



Are flagmen or temporary traffic signals requires where, when and how?
5 [a] Are traffic lanes clearly delineated

Delineation and Reflective Markers

[b] Have temporary Reflective Markers been installed? [c] Where coloured Reflective Markers are used, have they been installed correctly?

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Issues to be considered
Are all necessary pavement markings installed in accordance with guidelines?


Pavement Marking

Are vehicle paths through the work area clear to motorists? Are work areas clearly defined and clear of through traffic when flagmen not used? Does the site present difficulties for motorcyclists day or night? Have these been addressed?


Do temporary detours cater for heavy vehicles and buses to safely manoeuvre in their designated lane?

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CHECKLIST Traffic Signals


Issues to be considered
Are the temporary traffic signals clearly visible to approaching motorists?


Temporary Traffic Signals

Are additional warning signs required? Are signs warning of temporary traffic signals adequate? Are the ends of likely vehicle queues visible to motorists so that they may stop safely?


Are traffic signals operating correctly? Is the number and location of signal displays adequate? Have any visibility problems caused by the rising or setting sun been addressed?


Do any site works or any construction equipment create visibility problems for traffic signals?
4 Are signal displays shielded so that they can be seen only by the motorist for whom they are intended? Are all movements including pedestrians catered for by the temporary traffic signals?

Signal Display

Traffic Movements

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Issues to be considered
Are pedestrians and cyclists affected by the work area?



Are there appropriate travel paths and crossing points for pedestrians and cyclists?
Are there adequate safety access provisions for the elderly, disabled, children, wheel chairs and prams. [eg. holding rails, kerbs and median crossings, ramps] ? Is the bicycle route continuous, i.e. free of squeeze points or gaps? Are bicycle safe grates provided at drainage gully pits where necessary? Are pedestrian and cyclists adequately warned of obstructions and temporary works hazards on their travelled way?

Elderly and Disabled


Safe Grates


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Issues to be considered
Is the pavement free of defects [eg. excessive roughness or rutting, potholes etc.] which could result in safety problems [eg. loss of steering control]? Does the pavement appear to have adequate skid resistance, especially on steep descents? Is the pavement free of areas where ponding or sheet flow of water may occur, with resultant safety problems? Is the pavement free of loose screenings?


Pavement Defects

Skid Resistance


Loose Screenings

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CHECKLIST Traffic Speed Management


Issues to be considered
Are speed restriction signs required for these works?


Speed Restriction Signs


If so are they correctly applied?

Are motorists informed of need to slow down through Roadworks site?

Speed Management

Are other devices required for speed management?

Do speed restriction signs require to be maintained all day and at night?

Signs Requirements

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