Optimum Illumination for Nighttime Flagger OperationsAuthor/Presenter: Gambatese, John A.
Highway maintenance and construction undertaken by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) can involve the use of flaggers to control the work zone. When the work is undertaken at night, illumination of flaggers is needed to ensure the safety of the motorists, flaggers, and workers. A number of recent developments have taken place that improve the ability for motorists to see flaggers. These include highly reflective apparel and illuminated “STOP/SLOW” paddles. In addition to using such personal protective and directional equipment, consideration should be given to other factors associated with lighting of the flagger station:
– What amount of light should be used, where should the light source be located, and how should the light be directed, to effectively and efficiently illuminate the flagger?
– What light level and quality are necessary and economically practical, which avoid creating blinding glare for the motorists approaching a flagger station?
– How mobile is the lighting equipment and can it be moved without creating additional risk exposure to the flagger?
This study developed guidelines for the optimal illumination of flaggers during nighttime maintenance and construction operations on highway projects. The guidelines address minimum and optimum lighting levels, optimal methods of delivering the light, and maneuverability of the lighting equipment.