2nd February, 2021

10 Examples Of Good Construction Traffic Management

Construction sites can be busy places, with workers, deliveries, and machinery all needing access. Traffic management is an important consideration to prevent fatal and serious accidents to your workforce. In this post, we look at 10 good practice examples of construction traffic management.

10 Examples Of Good Construction Traffic Management header image

Construction sites can be busy places, with workers, deliveries, and machinery all needing access. Traffic management is an important consideration to prevent fatal and serious accidents to your workforce. In this post, we look at 10 good practice examples of construction traffic management.

Construction sites are one of the workplaces where people and machinery often need to work together. But while plant and machinery can assist workers for jobs like excavations and moving materials, they also create a hazard. If a person is struck with a 10+ tonne machine on site, the outcome isn't going to be good. Last year, over 30 workers were killed and nearly 4,000 workers were injured, either being struck by a moving vehicle or by contact with moving machinery, according to HSE statistics.

While construction isn't the only workplace where traffic and people must work together. But transport management can be more of a headache in construction than in other industries.

The problem in construction is that every site is different, different site layout, different access points, different requirements, different tasks, different plant and machinery, a different number of users… the list goes on. Not only that, but the same site needs various layout arrangements at different stages of the projects.

Here are our top 10 examples of good traffic management on construction sites:

1. Keep people away from plant and machinery

The easiest way to stop people getting injured by plant and vehicles on your site? Keep pedestrians and vehicles as far apart as possible. This might sound easier said than done, but consider areas on your site where plant and people are moving around, getting to and from their work areas.

The majority of construction transport accidents result from the inadequate separation of pedestrians and vehicles.

No one is expecting to come into contact with an excavator when they are heading to the canteen. Visitors might not even know what vehicles you have on your site. And vehicles are more likely to come into contact with people when they are manoeuvring or moving on or off the site. So traffic routes are high-risk places but also places where people and machine don't need to be together, so it's easier to keep them apart.

Use separate pedestrian and vehicles entrances, access routes and barriers to keep pedestrians and site traffic apart. Provide safe and clear crossing places.

2. Keep site plant away from hazards

It's not just people that machine and vehicle drivers on your site need to be aware of. While you should make sure that your traffic plan allows for suitable and level routes for traffic on the site, construction sites don't have the luxury of a finished road or traffic route until the end of the project. Excavations, uneven, or unstable ground can create a danger of overturning vehicles.

And that's not the only difficulty, there are many hazards on a construction site that can create problems for plant and machinery. Overhead cables, services, watercourses, temporary works, new structures, skips, waste materials - did we mention that construction sites are busy places?

When planning your vehicle access routes avoid obstacles such as excavations, structures, overhead cables, uneven or unstable ground and watercourses.

construction site barriers

3. Minimise movements

While construction site traffic is often unavoidable, it should be reduced as much as possible. Do workers vehicles need to be on the site? Probably no. Would planning the layout of the site so that the storage area is close to the entrance help reduce the amount of traffic crossing the site? Probably yes.

Any vehicles that are on site should need to manoeuvre as little as possible. Reversing is usually where visibility issues and fatal accidents can occur in construction, so using one-way systems and planning turning circles to avoid reversing can be a great way to improve safety.

Control vehicle entry. Use a one-way system and plan turning areas especially in busy areas. Keep parking, and where possible deliveries, away from the work area.

4. Visibility is vital

Remember all those construction site obstacles we discussed? People, excavations, uneven surfaces, other plant and machinery, other structures, watercourses, materials? We need to see them. Good visibility is essential for safe traffic movement on site.

Mirrors, cameras, alarms and banksmen can all help with manoeuvring and moving on the site. Pedestrians on your site should wear high visibility clothing. Additional lighting may also be needed.

worker in hi-viz

5. There's no need for speed

The faster plant and vehicles are moving, the less time drivers have to react and the less chance pedestrians have of getting out the way. While keeping site traffic and pedestrians separate should be a priority, there will often be crossing points and places where vehicles and people can come into contact.

Assess your site and decide on a suitable speed limit. Use signage and inductions to communicate the speed limit, which should also be monitored and enforced.

6. Train to gain

All plant operators need to be fit and competent. Accidents can happen when people try to operate vehicles they don't have the right experience, training or knowledge for. Authority to operate plan on site should only be given when competence has been checked and the right training has been given. And it's not just the people driving and operating vehicles and machinery on the site that need to be trained. Those that are assisting and directing movements, such as banksmen and signallers, must also be competent to do so.

Banksmen are operatives trained to direct vehicle movement on or around site. They are often called traffic marshals.

Everyone on your site needs to be aware of the dangers. Your workforce may be well aware of the risks presented by plant and machinery, but is this at the front of their minds, or are they focused on the task at hand? Take a 5 minute toolbox talk refresher to ensure the job gets done with safety in mind.

Ensure all your plant operators and banksmen / signallers have the appropriate training, and that it is frequently renewed.

7. Provide information

You have access routes, you have a speed limit, you have a plan of action. Make sure that everyone knows it! Both drivers and pedestrians should understand the traffic plan and site rules.

Inductions, toolbox talks, instructions and safety briefings can be used to communicate your traffic rules. You can also use road and speed limit signs, plus traffic light systems and speed checks around the site to remind and provide obvious instructions.

Display a site plan, mark up your routes, display signs and include traffic management in the induction for everyone.

8. Get ready for change

On construction sites, due to the nature of the work, the site layout is likely to change throughout the project as buildings and structures are constructed. Failing to keep your traffic management plan updated, or failing to have one in place at all, could lead to dangerous situations involving vehicles and plant on site.

Keep your traffic management arrangements updates as the site layout changes throughout the project.

arrow on road

9. Keep routes clear

It’s a familiar story, something about waiting for a bus and they all come at once? Well, the same can happen with deliveries, especially during site set up. Plan ahead and schedule deliveries and other vehicle movements so they can be managed safely. The fewer vehicles on site at once, the less crowded (and safer) the site will be.

One of the key areas assessed by HSE inspectors during construction health and safety inspections is that sites are well organised and walkways and access routes are free of obstructions.

Keep your access routes clear to prevent drivers from looking an alternative way around.

10. Maintain and inspect

All vehicles and plant on site need to be safe. Built-in controls such as guards, brakes, and alarms need to work to be effective. There are legal requirements to make sure equipment is maintained and in good working order, and it's important for the safe movement and operation of vehicles on site.

Ensure your plant and vehicles are inspected and maintained so that they are safe to be on site.


Traffic management is an ongoing requirement, don’t let standards slip once other project demands take hold. Put in place near miss reporting, get feedback from banksmen and enforce the rules as required. Regularly monitor and review your plan to ensure it is effective.

Need help producing your construction traffic management plan? Our team of health and safety professionals have managed traffic on a large number of construction projects and have created this construction traffic management plan template for your sites.

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This article was written by Emma at HASpod. Emma has over 10 years experience in health and safety and BSc (Hons) Construction Management. She is NEBOSH qualified and Tech IOSH.

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