As the mercury rises, so too do the risks of heat-related illnesses in traffic controllers. Managing extreme heat is vital, particularly in the Summer months where the temperatures soar and the humidity rises. While advising traffic control workers to increase their fluid intake and allow for more regular breaks can help, the fact remains that traffic controllers are still being unnecessarily exposed to heat stress and its potentially severe consequences.
When traffic controllers stand on asphalt road surfaces to conduct traffic management, they are being subjected to an avoidable heat hazard. A study conducted by Frostburg State University found that under equivalent ambient weather conditions, when the average surface temperature of grass is 26°c the surface temperature of asphalt is a scorching 37°c.* By substituting the hazard of traffic controllers being exposed to extreme heat, to a safer alternative of standing on a grass verge, heat stress can be reduced.
The PORTABOOM® system of work allows traffic controllers to conduct effective traffic management from a more comfortable location like the grass verge or better still, whilst standing under the shade of a tree. PORTABOOM’s® remote control range is up to 100 metres, so as long as the traffic controller has a direct line of sight to the workzone, traffic and the PORTABOOM® unit, they are free to choose a cooler location within the workzone to manage traffic, avoiding the heat hazard from the asphalt road.
Using PORTABOOM® also allows traffic controllers to take more frequent breaks. As one traffic controller can operate up to four PORTABOOM® units at once, traffic controllers can rotate their breaks more easily without adding the expense of rostering on additional traffic controllers to cover breaks. When traffic controllers are more comfortable, heat stress is reduced and so too are the risks of fatigue, making the entire workzone a safer environment.
Your choice of implementing a PORTABOOM® solution will allow traffic controllers to work under more favourable conditions and help protect them from the harmful effects of heat-related illnesses.
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* Frostburg State University RMSC, Heat Session 1, A study of surface temperatures of six ground covers on the Frostburg University campus 2008