Health & Safety Construction Changes since COVID-19

“Oh, Sh#$, My Mask!” – Normal Person on the Daily.

I know we don’t all particularly like change, but times have changed and we, therefore, need to embrace change as well and conform to the new norm and try to remember to wear a mask and sanitize all the time.

The health and safety within the construction industry is challenging at the moment as everyone has to try to adapt to the new way of working.

To reduce the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, plans need to be in place to help identify risk levels in the workplace. They also need to determine the implementation of control measures.

Owners of companies as well as their staff need to remain in the know and up to date with the changing Covid-19 outbreak conditions as they directly affect and relate to community spread of the virus.

This blog is on “Changes since COVID-19” within the Construction industry. I’d like to focus on the construction site itself.

As a Health & Safety officer onsite or the main contractor, you will need to assess the hazards to which your workers may be exposed. You also need to then evaluate the risk of exposure and ensure workers adhere to rules in place to prevent exposure.

Conducting a job hazard analysis can also help you determine whether work activities require close contact (within 2 meters) between staff, visitors, customers or members of the public.

There is so much information on this particular topic, however, below are some points which I believe most stood out to me:

1. Personal Protective Equipment
  • To be honest, most construction workers are unlikely to need more PPE beyond what they already use. What I mean is that the PPE that they should already have to have is a hard hat, gloves, safety glasses, and a face mask. Since Covid-19, the PPE required may now include eye protection, gloves, and/or face shields.
2. Transportation
  • Washing your hands before and after using public transport. Also washing your hands and sanitizing as soon as you get home. All persons should ensure that their hands are sanitized before and after, entering and existing any vehicle.
  • The use of individual transport is much preferred during this crisis. Where possible, workers should use their cars and drive alone rather than collective or make use of public transport. The employer can facilitate this and assist by ensuring there is a car park or open site available to all employees. If you think about it, even a rack for securely storing bicycles would also help. Heck if you live close enough and are fit do to so, then walk to work.
  • The contractor or health & safety consultant should note and assess the number of workers being transported. A log should be kept and the consultant can also implement measures to ensure that social distancing between persons is adhered to.
  • Work buses or work transport should have space where people can sit apart from each other (adhering to social distancing) and the vehicle should be well-ventilated. Masks are to be worn in both public transport & employer transport/buses.
  • Visitors to the construction site should be discouraged to visit. Should there be a delivery of any sort, drivers should try to remain in their vehicles while being screened and provided with hand sanitizer. When goods are being delivered, it is suggested to do so through pick-up or delivery outside of the construction site. It’s not often, but delivery workers could also be allowed to use facilities such as toilets and cafeterias onsite, and these should be sanitized and cleaned thoroughly at all times.
  • Transportation of staff:
    • Vehicles being used to transport workers or being used on site are to be thoroughly disinfected each time before and after boarding
    • Each person onsite is to be screened and have their temperature taken twice daily. A log of the everyone’s details, temperatures, times and dates as well as those of visitors to the site will need to be kept.
    • Stickers or markings on the ground should be placed around the site to ensure social distancing.
    • Wearing of masks is mandatory
    • The appointed Covid19 officer on site would need to monitor staff as they disembark from any transport vehicle to make sure social distancing and sanitizing are done.

3. Site access & workspace

Contractors have specific responsibilities for health and safety and must coordinate all activities of workers & sub-contractors. They are responsible for ensuring the health and safety of everyone and would do so by implementing policies and procedures as well as providing workers with instructions, training and supervision.

It is recommended that a Covid-19 safety co-ordinator or officer be appointed at each site and that everyone is familiar with that person. This officer will ensure compliance with Covid19 regulations and safeguard against infection as well as be able to provide answers to any questions persons may have.

  • Covid-19 compliance procedures are to be included in the contractors existing safety manuals onsite.
  • Site safety manuals should highlight where Covid19 safety procedures are difficult to adhere to, depending on the nature of work. (eg: shared fall protection ropes, tools and equipment that could be potential transmission points)
  • Covid19 signage and posters in all languages necessary should be installed onsite. Especially in high traffic areas such as entries, exits, hallways, meeting points, material docks, canteens and changing rooms.
  • Adopt staggered work schedules – alternating workdays or extra shifts, to reduce the total number of employees on a job site at any given time and to ensure physical distancing.
  • Ensure clean toilet and handwashing facilities. Clean and disinfect portable site toilets regularly. Fill hand sanitizer dispensers regularly. Disinfect frequently touched items such as door handles, soap dispensers, taps and toilet seats.
4. Lunchrooms / Eating Area
  • Stagger lunch hours to reduce the number of staff in the breakroom at one time.
  • Food should be consumed at designated areas only. When you are eating, your mask is off and the risk of infection may be greater. Social and safe distancing still applies.
  • As said before, signage should be in the lunch area creating Covid19 awareness or simply just reminding everyone to wash your hands and wear your mask. Remember this is sort of “new” to us, and its human nature to forget to wear your mask sometimes. 6 months of it and I’m still not 100% used to it, but we have to be. I appreciate the signs and reminders.
  • Seating arrangements now needs be modified to include social distancing.
  • Tables, chairs, microwaves, utensils and any other equipment or surfaces need to be disinfected before and after every use. Where possible, encourage staff to bring their cutlery and crockery and to keep this at their desk or in their locker.

5. Staircases
  • One-way walking on the staircase should be implemented. Basically, have people keep left at all times. This is to avoid social distancing being compromised.
  • The handrail needs to be regularly disinfected and should you use this you need to sanitise before and after use. Staff shouldn’t touch anything.

6. Site Offices
  • Again, Covid19 signage needs to be up at the site office as well as “Restricted Access” so that they know there is a limit to the number of people allowed in that area.
  • Sinks need to be installed with hand sanitizer available for staff and visitors
  • A checklist of commonly used items should be drawn up and those need to be wiped and clean periodically (such as doorknobs, chairs, desks, stationery). The construction safety officer is to ensure this is complied with.

7. Site Sanitation Measures
  • Provide hand sanitizers/handwash and sinks with clean running water.
  • Provide paper towels instead of hand towels. This you can throw away after use, instead of all using the same, dirty hand towel.
  • Provide foot-operated/foot pedal rubbish bins in all bathrooms and site offices.
  • Limit the number of persons allowed to make use of the toilet facilities at any one time. Have a visible sign with the maximum capacity allowed.
  • Toilet facilities and fixtures are to be disinfected by cleaning staff regularly.

8. Material Management

1. Unloading and loading zones should be clearly marked and also have limited access.

2. Any vehicle entering or exiting the premises is to be disinfected. Especially machinery or vehicles used by multiple persons.

3. Documents are to be reviewed and validated in digital formats where possible. If you can fill in contracts or documents online then do so. This is to avoid the physical exchange of paperwork and avoid the spread of the virus.

4. Any delivery that is unloaded should be disinfected before storage at the site.

9. Training & Awareness is to be provided to all employees on the following:

  • Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and the need to report any safety and health concerns
  • All policies and procedures are to be followed
  • Hygiene and social distancing
  • Avoiding physical contact with others and maintaining a distance
  • Appropriate cleaning practice
  • The proper way to cover coughs and sneezes
  • Alternatives to shaking hands upon entry
  • Not touching your face, or anyone else’s
  • Decontamination, removal and disposal of any PPE being used
  • The importance and seriousness of staying at home if you are sick.
  • Wearing a mask, always
  • Any members who have been in isolation, quarantine or had been diagnosed with COVID-19 should be physically separated from any other members of the team. Be it in a different room or on a different part of the site. You can even use closed doors or walls as physical barriers to separate workers.
10. Reporting
  • A team which includes a safety officer could be put together to form a Covid19 response unit onsite. This team can then plan, co-ordinate and provide information to others. They would be involved in decision making and co-ordination with other companies and stakeholders.
  • Daily, weekly, fortnightly and monthly reports should now include Covid19 stats. This means Covid19 safety compliance as well as staff screening. The number of workers being screened, their locations and any workers suspected of symptoms.
  • Site safety procedures are to be updated and managed.
  • Documents, including training logs, should be kept and readily available.
  • A three strike policy could be implemented for those who are non-compliant. In the same breath, you can implement a rewards program for those who have done well and adhered to the rules.
  • Meetings. Keep in-person meetings as short as possible and limit the number of workers in attendance. Limit this to less than 15 minutes and use social distancing practices. No more than 50 persons gathered in the same area. If you have to, rather consider holding on-site meetings in open spaces or outside. Another alternative is having staff or team meetings online.

11. Engineering Controls

  • Plastic sheets can be used as barriers
  • Special attention needs to be given to those “High Risk” employees as well as those with family members who are at high risk.
12. Use of Technology
  • Thermal imaging scanners can be used for easy temperature screening of groups of staff.
  • Digital scanners (instead of biometrics) can be used for recording staff attendance.
  • Drones. I’ve even heard people go as far as to use drones to spray disinfectant on-site areas.
  • Spray booths or disinfectant walk-through booths are also used at the entrance to the site.
  • Occupancy of rooms or common areas can be displayed and viewed.
  • Covid19 mobile compliance app which includes chat-bots in multiple languages, are very helpful and should be introduced to employees.
  • A control centre should be set up where you can use remote camera technology to track those who arrive to and leave the site.

13. Mental health

We need to be aware that Covid19 not only affects our physical health, but our mental health as well.

  • We need to assist those who are suffering from anxiety or stress and support should be in place for those persons.
  • This is also a time of uncertainty and many will need advice, support or just someone to talk to.

Additional important points
  • Never mix any of the solutions or different types of disinfectants (e.g ammonia with bleach). Hazardous vapours will be released and can be very toxic.
  • As hand sanitizers result in dehydration, we need to moisturise hands regularly.
  • If any of the staff members develop skin rash or irritation after using disinfectants or the hand sanitizers, they are to inform occupational health practitioner/specialist immediately. They can then establish what the cause is and recommend another brand or type of sanitizer or disinfectant to be used.

.

Sources
Osha
Oshwiki
CIDB
Hseni
Lexology
Ehs Today Construction
Ehs Today Webinar
Hsa
CDC
Ontario
SA Builder
KPMG
PBC Today


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About Michelle Hosford

I started my journey at Leads 2 Business in the Directory Department in 2012. I was then promoted to the Private Projects department in 2014 and have been working as the Regional Gauteng content researcher ever since.

The key role of Safety Officers

The key role of safety officers

Safety Officers and Their Functions:

Safety officer… Brrrrrr.… Just the mere words alone are enough to send cold shivers down any foreman’s spine.
This important professional can close down a construction site within an hour if proper safety and precaution measures are not adhered to.
They do, however, form probably the most vital part of the whole operation – And that is ensuring the safety of all personnel on site.

We all know how quickly and easily accidents can happen, especially on a dangerous construction site, where accidents are almost inevitable. These officers detailed, pedantic and precautionary planning is an essential part of ensuring the safety of everyone involved in the project.

 

Not to mention the financial losses that are incurred with the insurance claims which lead to more financial losses caused by delays and it just grows exponentially worse from there.

 

Reputations can be tested and destroyed, and the hardest hitting reality of it all…

People can die!

Remember the bridge that fell down over Grayston Drive in Sandton, Johannesburg, not that long ago? The first point of contact for the investigation was the Safety Officer!

Not sticking to the safety regulations is simply a lose-lose situation.

OK, now that I have scared everyone and put you all in a sombre mood, let’s get serious and highlight just some of the important functions of a Safety Officer.

1. Creating and Implementing Safety Policies:
The Safety Officer with the assistance of managers and construction workers determine what policies are needed to help employers reduce the accident-related costs and prevent losses
due to any decline in productivity. They then finalize these policies and are responsible for alerting workers about any changes and monitoring of compliance.

2. Workplace Inspections:
Safety Officers are responsible for inspecting the interior and exterior work areas to determine if there are any safety hazards. In these inspections, they look for any broken equipment, damaged or unstable equipment, slip-and-fall hazards and any other potential hazards. They also observe workers to ensure that the required personal protective equipment (PPE) is being worn and machinery is operated in the correct manner and that the employees themselves are adhering to the company’s safety policies.

3. Accident Investigations:
Should a workplace accident occur, a Safety Officer will conduct the investigation to determine why and how the accident happened. This includes questioning witnesses, accident site inspection and pictures may be taken of the scene for the comprehensive report he or she must write. They also then provide recommendations to prevent future accidents.

4. Training and Coaching:
Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide training on multitudes of safety topics, ranging from fire prevention plans, hazardous materials handling to machine operations. Safety Officers need to identify training needs, develop the correct programs and then deliver these programs to the employees.

5. Last, but not least… Regulatory Compliance:
These standards have already been put in place by OSHA and Occupational Safety Agencies, and are a necessity on construction sites. This involves reviewing these already set out standards, implementing plans to meet those standards and follow all of the correct record keeping procedures.

So as you can clearly see, these professionals play an integral part of keeping you and your workers safe.

Their job is your well-being!

 

 

 

Sources:
http://work.chron.com/duties-safety-officers-13515.html
https://www.aiha.org/get-involved/…/IPRWG-SafetyOfficerResponsibilities.doc
http://www.claybrick.org/what-are-duties-construction-health-safety-officer
https://resources.workable.com/safety-officer-job-description
http://fspbusiness.co.za/articles/hse-representatives/your-health-and-safety-officer-has-seven-essential-responsibilities-are-you-familiar-with-them-7081.html
https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-a-construction-safety-officer-844595

 

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About Nikki Blake

I am an Account Executive in our Gauteng branch. I have been with L2B for almost a year now and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I am so passionate about people and being able to assist them grow their business with the use of our amazing system. It has not only given me an overwhelming sense of self fulfilment, but has also become my motivation to be the best person I can be each day. Thank you L2B and to all of our awesome clients!

L2B Blog: Fire Risks

Fire Risks


Since the early dawn of man, the discovery of fire has brought us progress in every way. A discovery that has pushed the human race beyond grunting and digging for roots, catapulting us into the future. It has provided us with warmth, transport, cooked meals and a living environment that is far more convenient and healthy.
Fire brings a risk of injury and/or death. The importance of treating fire with respect and a mental presence is pertinent to everyone’s wellbeing. This article will give you an overview of some of the risks that fire brings.

Fire requires three elements to start; heat, fuel & oxygen. Stupidity might be added as a fourth for a safe measure as this seems to be a common factor. Examples of fire hazards will include but are not limited to: objects generating heat, faulty electrical equipment, overloading of power supply sockets, smoking, human error and negligence as well as meteorological events (lightning).

 

Hoarding is considered to be one of the major contributors towards fire hazards. Hoarding is defined as the persisted collection and accumulation with an inability to relinquish a large number of objects. Hoarding might include variable objects and materials that humans collect and store causing clutter that will be the fuel for any fire. The rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used it for two months then get rid of it. It is not worth getting your mono-brow or ponytail singed by fire as a direct cause of your hoarding.

Whilst the list of materials posing possible fire risks is endless, the common list would include: flammable liquids of all kinds, gas, and fabric etc. It is of value to know the flash point of flammable material that you might utilise and or store on your premises.

The flashpoint of a volatile flammable material is the lowest temperature at which the vapours of the material will ignite when given an ignition source. The flash point is often confused with the autoignition temperature, which is the temperature at which the vapour ignites spontaneously on its own without an ignition source. The fire point is the lowest temperature at which the vapours of the material will continue to burn after being ignited and the ignition source has been removed. The fire point is higher than the flash point because at the flashpoint more vapour may not be produced rapidly enough to sustain combustion. Flammable materials almost always have a Material Safety Data Sheet that will include information in regards to the particular materials flash/ignition point. It is of value to take the time to read and familiarise yourself with this data if you are inclined to handle the material in an environment that could cause it to ignite.

 

 Whilst it is common knowledge as to the danger linked to well-known flammable materials, the risk of fire is hidden in materials that we do not commonly associate with fire. Ordinary cake flour is one of these products. In its original solid form, it has no risk of ignition. However, when converted into a fine dust, the risk of ignition increases exponentially. Other organic materials that fall into this category will include but are not limited to: grain, starch, sugar, powdered milk, cocoa, coffee, and pollen.

Fireball spreads rapidly:
A cloud of flour is ignited:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, if waking up from a “Rip Van Winkle” coma with your favourite little dog named “Skippy” imprinted as a vague Bushman drawing on your kitchen wall doesn’t appeal to you, then rather don’t celebrate your perfect ginger-bread man biscuits by applauding yourself with a hand full of flour over your ignited gas stove.

Be aware and educate yourself on all aspects of fire.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_explosion
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_point

Examples of Fire Hazards in the Workplace

 

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About Richard Venter

I joined the property division as the Financial Manager in 2017 and oversee the management and investment aspects of all properties owned.

L2B Blog: History of Hard Hats

.History of Hard Hats

History of Hard Hats

Hard Hats; a common symbol of the Construction Industry, but have you ever stopped to wonder about the History behind this safety accessory?

History

According to Prescot Valley Tribune, “The Hard Hat originated with Edward Bullard, a WWI veteran. He brought a steel helmet home after the war. This metal headgear was the inspiration to revolutionize industrial safety. Bullard’s father worked in the industrial safety business for 20 years and sold protective hats, but they were made of leather.

Construction of the Hoover Dam, which began in 1931 was the first project in which construction workers were required to wear Hard Hats. Later, in 1933, the construction site of the Golden Gate Bridge became America’s first “Hard Hat Area”.”

The first Hard Hats were made from:

  • Leather
  • Canvas
  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Fibreglass
  • Plastic
  • and finally today’s High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE).
Functionality

The function of the Hard Hat is pretty obvious. If worn and fitted correctly it provides limited safety from shock, perforation, fire, water and heat.

Hard Hats also provide a form of identification.

A wearer can use colour coded Hard Hats to differentiate between job titles/responsibilities:

  • White – Managers, Engineers, Supervisors/Foremen
  • Blue – Electricians, Carpenters and other technical operators (besides civil workers)
  • Green – Safety Officers
  • Red – Fire Fighters
  • Yellow – Labourers
  • Brown – Welders and workers with high heat application
  • Grey – Site Visitors

These colour codes are general and could change according to the Project.

Over time Hard Hats, like most things also need replacing. As a wearer, you should inspect your Hard Hats before each use.  Your support strap should also be replaced annually and the entire hat every five years. Hard Hats may also allow for the attachment of safety accessories; most noteworthy are face shields, respirators, hearing protection and work lamps.

Future

Today’s Hard Hat hasn’t changed much since the 1960’s and has become a staple of safety, but they may be getting an upgrade in the future.

According to Sourceable, “In Australia, RMIT has developed a system whereby sensors can be embedded onto safety glasses, helmets or boots and can monitor and inform workers of impending danger…”
Sounds really interesting, after all, technology is a part of our every day lives and why not safety too.
Industry leaders can achieve much by ‘upgrading’ the Hard Hat. For example, by monitoring and assessing stats you can take precautions; not only in the present but also in the future through behavior analysis. But this may also present issues; like how much monitoring is too much when it comes to privacy and tracking? What are your thoughts?

In conclusion, the future sure looks safe when it comes to Hard Hats. The History of Hard Hats was certainly an interesting topic to research and blog.

Finally

Do you have any Hard Hat stories or facts you’d like to share? Or do you frequently use one?

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_hat

https://www.pvtrib.com/news/2018/jan/26/ask-contractor-history-hat-protects-workers/

https://www.thenbs.com/knowledge/what-colours-are-safety-helmets-hard-hats-on-construction-sites

http://www.civilology.com/helmet-color-code-construction/

https://sourceable.net/smart-hard-hats-next-trend-construction-safety/

 

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About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life

L2B Blog: Exploring New Ideas in the Role of the Project Manager

Exploring New Ideas in the Role of the Project Manager

If you are involved in the construction industry you have most likely come into contact with a Project Manager (hereafter referred to as a PM) or heard of one mentioned in the process of developments and particularly larger developments.

Certainly in Leads 2 Business’ Projects Department PM’s are one of the most common professionals we deal with. The reason for this, is their role within construction projects.

So, what does a PM actually do? It would seem rather obvious right, they manage the project? But nothing is ever as simple as it seems. PM’s actually do a whole host of duties.

Some of which include: planning, organising, controlling, communicating, executing, reports, programs, advice, analysis, resource control, health and safety, budgets, administration and handover.

All of these duties are done ensure that the project runs successfully thus lowering the risks while meeting all of the objectives timeously to ensure completion which effects the profitability of the project.

So, when do new ideas come into the picture? What new ideas would PM’s have to explore in todays construction industry?

To be honest, I was at a loss when pondering this question, after all I’m not a PM and it’s not a role one easily assumes to answer. So I emailed a few PM’s to get some feedback on ideas that they might want to put out there… but still no luck, probably snowed under with work given our economic environment. I scoured the Internet and there didn’t seem to be any publications or news out there for new ideas when it comes to PM’s until I happened on some LinkedIn Posts. Phew!

This may not be a new idea but how about technology, either using existing tech and / or molding it to PM’s requirements, partnering with IT and creating PM specific tech or even sharing your tech tricks with other PM’s? For example: Ahmed H. Emam, PMP writes “Detect and Fix Dangling Activities in Time Schedule using Excel Macro.” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/detect-fix-dangling-activities-time-schedule-using-excel-pmp

Using tech could make PM’s jobs easier but some seem to think that PM’s might be replaced in the future by Tech/Bots. As Oliver Yarbrough, M.S., PMP illustrates in “Can a Robot Do Your Job? Here’s “How Project Managers Can Survive a Takeover.” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/can-robot-do-your-job-heres-how-project-managers-oliver

There are some things that tech, no matter how advanced it gets, cannot replace. Oliver suggests to focus on the following skills in order to stand out: “Leadership, Diplomacy, Negotiating, Public Speaking, Emotional Intelligence, Communication (verbal and nonverbal)” and instead of fighting tech, work with it to enhance your service delivery.

Another thought also came to mind: what is one of the key aspects that I think of when I think of a PM? It would have to be communication. So, what new idea would make communication more effective? What about a platform where all the schedules, notes, admin, planning and analysis can be seen by all the professionals involved in a specific project? Where each person can make notes or get alerts thus avoiding confusion, emails back and forth, potential loss of material, and saving time, something like Google Sheets for PM’s? Does this already exist? It’s possible… calling all PM’s out there, let us know! Perhaps I need to patent this idea.

After all, we all know that communication is key whether you are a PM or not. Another useful tool to facilitate communication and interaction between professionals and all other contacts which fall within the scope of projects is to use L2B (Leads 2 Business). If you are looking to get involved in the different aspects of construction, information is our business. We encourage communication, new ideas and growth in order to build and establish business.

If any of the above sparks your interest leave a Comment below or or Contact me on SashaA@L2B.co.za

Source:

http://profica.com/Project-Management

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/detect-fix-dangling-activities-time-schedule-using-excel-pmp?trk=v-feed&lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_search_srp_content%3B6Q7NbKiCNqOpFrfh9U5jyg%3D%3D

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/can-robot-do-your-job-heres-how-project-managers-oliver?trk=v-feed&lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_search_srp_content%3Brgd4BBE3JHWCHOXLUg24dg%3D%3D

 

 

About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life

L2B Blog: The toll on our roads: is it fair & the impact on accidents and safety

posted in: General 0

The toll on our roads: is it fair & the impact on accidents and safety

Before starting the discussion if tolls are fair we need to know the following:

 

What are tolls?

Most roads are built with local, state or national government money raised from taxes. Tolls are like a tax that applies only to the users of the toll road. Some lanes may have people working the toll booths so that you can pay with change or cash like we usually see in South Africa.

Click here to view the source

 

Why have toll roads?

Roads form the main artery of economic competitiveness, growth and social development. To build roads costs billions of rands. Toll roads assist us in meeting the demands of social services, which are important for the growth of our country. Toll roads accelerate the availability of initial funding for construction, compared to traditional tax-based funding. They also make new road capacity available to motorists sooner. Toll roads, therefore, reduce the total net cost to the economy, ensuring greater opportunities for prosperity and growth.

 

What are my tolls used for?

The tolls collected on a specific road are used to, among other things, repay the loans obtained to finance the building, upgrading or improvement of the road. In addition, it provides a dedicated on-going revenue stream, which enables the road to be adequately maintained and improved, independent of tax –based revenues.

 

What do I get from using a toll road?

Toll roads are built and maintained to the highest possible standards. Because we uphold such standards, South Africa is recognised as a world leader in pavement technology.

Therefore you are ensured of a smooth ride, saving you on the running costs of your vehicle and saving you time. Improved security ensures you a safe and pleasant journey. Tolls ensure that funding is available much sooner, for adding highway capacity at the right time thereby relieving congestion, reducing losses in time and productivity.

I feel an argument coming on, does the government use this revenue wisely? Do they take the commuters using these roads daily in consideration?

If you use the tolls once in a while one might not be affected by the increase in toll fees, but if you use these daily routes to work and back, costs start adding up.

A trip from Soweto to Pretoria cost motorists an additional six percent in tolls. This is just one route‚ as the increases cover tolls across South Africa,

The Automobile Association (AA)‚ commenting on the South African National Roads Agency’s tariff increases announced unexpectedly in March 2017‚ calculated that the increase in rand terms is from R731.80 to R775.40 for a return trip between Soweto and Pretoria on a monthly basis.

Click here to view the source

 

Like all costs, tolls fees have to be increased as well as toll roads are constantly being upgraded, but one wrong decision made by a civil engineer and millions of rands could go to waste.

Okay, but that’s opening a whole new can of worms.

Accidents can be caused by various aspects when using roads, including bad road surfaces, bright lighting from oncoming traffic (from the not so courteous drivers), no proper barriers in place which could avoid a string of vehicles from being involved in an accident, potholes… POTHOLES!!!

Click here to view the source

 

Every driver’s nightmare, besides causing damage to your vehicle that can cost you thousands to repair, these tiny holes and some not so tiny, can cause truck accidents and motorcycle accidents in addition to poor road conditions that often result in serious car accident injuries.

Moreover, motorcycle drivers are at an increased risk for serious and fatal injuries due to the dangerous road conditions potholes create. When a vehicle hits a deep pothole, the impact is similar to that of a collision at 35m/ph (56.3km/ph). All motorists have a responsibility to look out for road hazards, such as potholes and drive carefully to prevent car accidents.

Yes, motorists have to do to their part concerning road safety, but the government also has to play a vital role in this.

Road safety campaigns have been implemented from their side. Is this enough? Have they drawn enough attention to these campaigns?

A key aspect of the integrated Road Safety Management Programme is increasing pedestrian safety. In planning and design, SANRAL (South African National Roads Agency) provides for interventions such as traffic calming, safe stopping areas for public transport and pedestrian bridges. The Department of Transport also engages communities adjacent to national roads to find solutions to pedestrians’ needs.

To contribute to safety on the roads, SANRAL has developed a database of projects that need to be implemented in areas that are hazardous to pedestrians. The solutions range from pedestrian bridges, pavements, road safety education and traffic calming measures.

When it comes to managing safety on freeways, SANRAL’s incident management system, supported by central coordination centres, embraces interaction between emergency services and law enforcement agencies on all declared national routes.

Be safe on the road my fellow commuters, overall we have to keep ourselves safe on the roads.

Here are a few tips to keep you and others safe when travelling,

  • adhere to the speed limit
  • avoid the use of cell phones while driving
  • ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy
  • do not cross the road where it is not safe to do so
  • take regular breaks
  • buckle up, safety belts save lives
  • avoid driving under the influence of alcohol

 

Also visit the Arrive Alive website for more safety tips, https://www.arrivealive.co.za/

Travel safely!!!

 

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About Sharika Raman

I have worked for Leads 2 Business from January 2015 till present. I work for the Leads 2 Quotes Department for Directory and Control List.