Worker Safety in Very Short Duration Work Zone Operations: State of Practice and Risk Management Process

Very short duration maintenance operations (VSDOs) last for 15 minutes or less and usually involve operations such as removing an object from the roadway (either on the pavement or adjacent shoulder) or pothole patching. These activities have the potential to interrupt traffic flow and can pose a safety risk for both workers and drivers. Specific guidance for VSDOs is undocumented and workers tend to use their own judgment in making critical time sensitive decisions. Identifying risk factors in VSDOs helps maintenance workers better judge the immediate conditions and make more informed decisions on whether to conduct an operation as a VSDO or not. This study sought to define a VSDO and identify typical VSDOs. In addition, this study identified risk factors that maintenance workers may face during VSDOs. Moreover, this study prepared a list of technologies and methods for minimizing risk to workers in VSDOs. This study also presented a risk management process that enables maintenance workers to identify work zone hazards for VSDOs and improve their judgment about work zone conditions and hazards. Multiple scenarios illustrating the risks were presented, and related safety recommendations were also discussed.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Edition: Technical Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 125p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01481255
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA/TX-13/0-6640-1, 0-6640-1
  • Contract Numbers: 0-6640
  • Created Date: May 10 2013 9:53AM