On Monday 10/17/16 , two aerial device crews were working on a two-lane rural highway. Flaggers were stationed to control traffic. Signs, cones, walkie-talkies and Stop/Slow signs were all being utilized and properly positioned. At 10:40 AM, Flagger-1 had placed his stop/slow paddle to the stop position. A white cargo van had approached the area and had come to a stop as directed by Flagger-1.

A driver of a Chevy Equinox traveling southbound failed to see the stopped van in front of her, so she hit her brakes skidding off the roadway and veering right to avoid hitting the van. As a result, she struck Flagger-1 with her vehicle. Flagger-1 remained on the hood of the car while it continued to travel for an additional 60 feet. He then slid off the hood of the car and came to rest in a grassy area. Flagger-1 suffered a fractured tibia which required surgery and torn ligaments in his knee.

In an effort to make flaggers more visible while performing traffic control, Nelson Tree Service is enacting the following policy change. All Flaggers will now be required to wear an approved (company issue) Class 3 ensemble. Your manager will order and distribute when available.

There are two main differences between the reflective garment (vest) presently worn and the Class 3 apparel that will be required under the revised policy:

  1. Presently flaggers are only required to wear reflective vests (along with their other PPE). Under the revised policy, the upper portion of the reflective ensemble will be a sleeved shirt with reflective striping on the chest, front, back and sleeves. See image below.
  2. The second new requirement involves the wearing of high-vis (E-type) trousers or high-vis leggings.


The second policy change involves the placement of additional traffic cones in front of flagging positions. Our new policy requires a minimum of three cones be placed in a triangle like formation approximately 15 feet in front of the flagger position. Note: the flagger should be stationed downstream at least 40 feet beyond the last cone of the taper.

The benefits of these cones are:

  • Increase the visibility of the Flagger;
  • Force the first car to stop back away from the Flagger; this will improve the Flagger’s line-of-sight regarding the reactions of other vehicle approaching the work zone.
  • Direct traffic into the opposing lane of traffic keeping the Flagger out of the line-of-fire.


Click here to see the full PDF.