IMPORTANT NOTE - Final Rule, 23 CFR Part 634 – WORKER VISIBILITY
On November 18, 2006 the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) added part 634, Worker Visibility to Title 23, Code of Federal Regulation. The purpose of this change is to decrease the likelihood of worker fatalities or injuries caused by motor and construction vehicles and equipment while working within the right-of-way on Federal aid highways. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 350,000 workers are involved in highway construction activities and more than 100 are killed in highway and street construction accidents. Over 20,000 workers are injured in these accidents.
Earlier provisions of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) had addressed the need for workers to be seen by vehicle operators. However, this was a recommendation rather than a requirement and some agencies did not incorporate the use of high-visibility safety apparel.
The Rule states that all workers within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway who are exposed either to traffic or to construction equipment within the work area shall wear high-visibility safety apparel. This apparel must meet the Performance Class 2 or 3 requirements of the ANSI/ISEA 107-2004 publication American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel and Headwear.
“Workers” are defined as people on foot whose duties place them within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway, such as highway construction and maintenance crews, survey crews, utility crews, responders to incidents within the highway right-of-way, and law enforcement personnel when directing traffic, investigating crashes, and handling lane closures, obstructed roadways, and disasters. If an agency determines that the highvisibility material must be flame-resistant, it can include a provision in the specification for the garments they purchase.
States and other agencies must comply with the provisions of this Rule by November 24, 2008. States and other local agencies may use funding available under Section 402 of Chapter 4 of Title 23, the State and Community Highway Safety Grant Program, to purchase or replace high-visibility garments when this purchase is part of an eligible Section 402 highway safety project included in the State’s approved highway plan.
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