Tailgate Safety


Each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. This is a staggering statistic! Properly setting up your advance warning signs, wearing the appropriate PPE, and setting up the flagging station according to policy is critical to alert drivers they are entering a work zone and protect you the worker.

The current Flagging Policy is stated as, All Flaggers are required to:

  • Wear an approved (company issue) Class 3 ensemble that includes a sleeved shirt with reflective striping on the chest, front, back and sleeves and high-vis (E-type) trousers or high-vis leg gaiters.
  • Setup a flagger station by placing a minimum of three cones in a triangle like formation positioned a minimum of 15 feet or more in front of the flagger. Note: the flagger shall be stationed a minimum of 40 feet downstream of the last cone of the taper.
Flagging Policy

The benefits of the road safety 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 vehicles approaching the work zone.
  • Direct traffic into the opposing lane of traffic keeping the Flagger out of the line-of-fire.

If there is any doubt about your ability to effectively control the flow of traffic through your TTCZ —- STOP and RE-EVALUATE! You may have to adjust your TTCZ by extending your taper or add an additional flagger. In some situations, you will need to call your GF to move work locations until another method of completing the work safely is decided.

With all this being said, if you are not comfortable with the flow of traffic, call an ALL-STOP and discuss alternatives. Don’t take the risk and continue working!

Click here to download a PDF of this edition of Nelson Tree Service Tailgate Safety

Safety Smart Question

The flagger should be stationed downstream at least ____ ____ beyond the last cone of the taper?