Keeping safe around moving plant

The movement of vehicles and mobile equipment on a construction site present risks to both people and property. A traffic management plan and specialist training are key tools for managing these risks.

We have produced guidance about safely moving vehicles and equipment on construction sites.

This fact sheet provides guidance on traffic control measures to take on construction sites, including identifying the hazards, developing a traffic management plan, control measures, providing worker training and reviewing the control measures.

Keeping safe around moving plant (PDF 67 KB)

While this guidance has not been updated to reflect current work health and safety legislation (the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and regulations), it may still contain relevant information and practices to keep workers and others healthy and safe.

Please read this guidance in conjunction with all relevant industry standards that apply to you as a PCBU. This guidance will be progressively reviewed and either updated, replaced with other guidance, or revoked.

Moving vehicles and equipment on construction sites can be fatal if not used correctly and safely.

Known as mobile plant, they have the potential to cause serious injury or kill someone by striking them or colliding with other vehicles or equipment. Common hazards include:

  • people and plant sharing the same site or route
  • where there is uncontrolled entry to and from the site
  • people using and arranging mobile plant inappropriately. 

Health and safety requirements

The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 requires the employer to identify hazards in the workplace and, where a hazard is significant, take all practicable steps to eliminate it.

If this is not possible, they must take all practicable steps to isolate the hazard, and if neither of these options is possible, take all practicable steps to minimise the hazard.

Traffic control measures

As the elimination of mobile plant hazards is unlikely to be an option on a construction site, hazards must be isolated or minimised by implementing the following traffic control measures.

Identify the hazards

Identify the traffic hazards in consultation with mobile plant operators and workers before the mobile plant comes onto the construction site.

Traffic hazard situations occur where:

  • mobile plant is being used
  • mobile plant and people are working in the same area
  • there is potential for a collision between the mobile plant and people, other plant or objects.

Develop a traffic management plan

Develop a traffic management plan including control measures to suit the specific requirements of the construction site. The implementation of a combination of control measures is likely to be the most effective means of managing the traffic hazard from mobile plant.

Control measures

Specific control measures may include but are not limited to:

  • isolating vehicles and plant from the people working on the site
  • planning/scheduling work so that vehicles and pedestrians are not operating in the same area at the same time
  • minimising plant movement on site by locating loading areas close to storage areas
  • providing drive through access to minimise turning or reversing
  • establishing designated delivery and turning areas
  • using fences, barriers, barricades, safety rails, exclusion zones, etc. to separate pedestrians from mobile plant and vehicles
  • planning the direction of traffic movement to minimise plant travel around the site
  • providing warning signs at all entrances and exits to the site
  • establishing speed limits on site
  • using audible reversing alarms, flashing lights and reversing cameras
  • using spotters or dedicated traffic controllers to manage traffic movement
  • restricting access to areas where mobile plant is operating
  • ensuring that workers wear high visibility clothing.

Provide worker training

Provide instruction and training on the traffic control measures to all workers and visitors on site.

Review the control measures

The layout of the site may change during the construction project so in order to remain effective, control measures should be reviewed regularly. The review should:

  • assess the effectiveness of the control measures
  • ensure that control measures are correctly implemented
  • identify future changes to the site before they occur
  • determine the potential impact of changes to the current control measures
  • propose alternative control measures for when the site layout changes.

For more information

Refer to the Best Practice Guidelines for Demolition in New Zealand(external link) (section 5.10.2).