Traffic Management

This course outlines the high risks of construction work carried out on, or adjacent to a road, or other traffic corridor that is in use by traffic other than pedestrians, the hazards that may arise from this work, and the measures to put in place to control the risks.

The aim of this section is to understand who has duties under the law.

A person conducting a business of undertaking

A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that workers and other people are not exposed to health and safety risks arising from the business or undertaking.

A ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’ is a term that includes all types of working arrangements such as organisations, partnerships, sole traders or small business owners.

A person conducting a business or undertaking with management or control of powered mobile plant at a workplace must ensure it does not collide with pedestrians or other powered mobile plant. If there is a possibility of collision, the plant must have a warning device alerting persons who may be at risk from its movement.

Designers, manufacturers, suppliers and importers

Designers, manufacturers, suppliers and importers of plant or structures must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the plant or structure is without risks to health and safety. For example, workplaces can be designed with vehicle and pedestrian routes that are separated. Mobile plant can be designed so the operator can see easily and the plant has speed limiters and warning devices.


Officers, such as company directors, have a duty to exercise due diligence to ensure the business or undertaking complies with the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act and Regulations. This includes taking reasonable steps to ensure the business or undertaking has and uses appropriate resources and processes to eliminate or minimise risks from traffic at the workplace.

Workers and others

Workers and other people at the workplace must take reasonable care for their own health and safety, co-operate with reasonable policies, procedures and instructions and not adversely affect other people’s health and safety.

Who is responsible for safety on site?

  • The builder
  • The contractor
  • The worker

The aim of this section is to understand site specific safety requirements.

Work health and safety management plan

All construction projects  costing $250,000 or more must have a written WHS management plan prepared by the principal contractor before work on the construction project commences.

The intention of a WHS management plan is to ensure the required processes are in place to manage the risks associated with a complex construction project, as there are usually many contractors and subcontractors involved and circumstances can change quickly from day to day.

The WHS management plan may include the requirements for a site-specific traffic management plan and is provided to all contractors prior to commencing work on site. It is the responsibility of the principal contractor and subcontractors to ensure the workers are aware of the contents of the plan that are applicable to their work.

Site risk assessment

The Certify Onsite mobile app should be used to conduct a site risk assessment before commencing work on a site.

When should you conduct a site risk assessment?

  • Within 24 hours
  • Before you start work

The aim of this section is to understand the hazards that have the potential to harm people, damage property, delay construction, and incur fines, penalties, legal and other costs.

Keeping people and vehicles apart

The best way to protect pedestrians is to make sure people and vehicles cannot interact. Where powered mobile plant is used at a workplace, you must ensure it does not collide with pedestrians or other powered mobile plant.

This can be achieved by not allowing vehicles in pedestrian spaces or not allowing pedestrians in vehicle operating areas.

However this may not be reasonably practicable in all workplaces. If people and vehicles cannot be separated you should consider using barriers or guardrails at entrances and exits to stop pedestrians walking in front of vehicles.

Vehicle routes

Vehicle routes at the workplace should have a firm and even surface, be wide and high enough for the largest vehicle using them and be well maintained and free from obstructions. They should be clearly sign-posted to indicate speed limits, traffic calming measures like speed humps and parking areas.

Reducing speed is very important where administrative control measures are the only reasonably practicable approach. Speed limits should be implemented and enforced and traffic calming devices like speed humps considered. Variations to speed limits should be clearly signposted.

Pedestrian crossings

If pedestrians have to cross vehicle routes in the workplace you can manage the risk in a number of ways, for example interlocked gates or gates with warning devices, physical barriers or rails, traffic light systems or having a competent worker direct traffic.

Parking areas

Parking may be needed for workers, visitors, trucks and other vehicles used in the workplace. Consider setting out the workplace so parking areas are located away from busy work areas and traffic routes.

Reversing vehicles

If reasonably practicable eliminate the need for reversing by using drive-through loading and unloading systems, multi-directional mobile plant or rotating cabins. Where this is not possible consider:

  • using devices like reversing sensors, reversing cameras, mirrors, rotating lights or audible reversing alarms
  • using a person to direct the reversing vehicle if they cannot see clearly behind—this person should be in visible contact with the driver at all times and wear high-visibility clothing

Loading and unloading vehicles

It is important to make sure visitors including visiting drivers are aware of the workplace layout, the route they should take and safe working procedures for the workplace. Provide drivers with safe access to amenities away from loading areas or other vehicular traffic. To reduce driver fatigue a seat should be provided for long loading times.

If you have created zones to separate vehicles from people—called ‘exclusion zones’—the person operating the powered mobile plant such as forklifts should control the exclusion zone. Clear operating procedures should be understood and implemented at all times. Provide effective ways to warn of loading in progress to other plant operators, drivers and pedestrians. Warning devices can include signage, cones, lights, alarms and horns.

Ways to stop vehicles from moving during loading and unloading activities include using:

  • vehicle or trailer restraints
  • dock locks
  • air brake isolation interlock devices
  • traffic lights
  • barriers or other ‘stop’ signals
  • systems for controlling access to vehicle keys or the cabin, and
  • safe systems of work which make sure the driver is aware of when it is safe to leave.

Signs and road markings

Clear road markings like reflective paint and signs should be used to alert pedestrians and vehicle operators to traffic hazards in the workplace.

Signs should be provided to indicate exclusion and safety zones, parking areas, speed limits, vehicle crossings and hazards like blind corners, steep gradients and where forklifts are in use.

Signs and road markings should be regularly checked and maintained so they can be easily seen.


Traffic routes, manoeuvring areas and yards should be well lit with particular attention given to junctions, buildings, walkways and vehicles routes. Where possible they should be designed to avoid extreme light variation, for example drivers moving from bright into dull light or vice versa.

Can contractors park on neighbouring properties without prior permission?

  • Yes
  • No