Flaggers need the right equipment to do their jobs properly. First, they need the right devices. A slow/stop paddle with a long handle is the preferred device. Red flags should only be used as emergency devices, not as the primary signaling device. Flaggers need to wear an approved vest or garment for the traffic. Class 2 reflective clothing is sufficient for most daytime work, Class 3 is required for high speed traffic and low visibility conditions, such as night time and poor weather.
A proper flagging station must have sufficient approach visibility for the drivers. You should be highly visible to traffic and never be standing in the moving traffic lane. Always have warning signs ahead of the flagging area. The sign will likely read “Flagger Ahead” or something similar. These must be positioned far enough ahead of the area to give drivers sufficient warning so that they can reaction time to adjust to conditions.
The slow/stop paddle is to be held in the flagger’s right hand, while the left hand gives signals.
- To stop traffic, turn the stop side of the paddle toward oncoming traffic and raise the left arm from the elbow, palm toward the traffic.
- To release traffic into the work area, turn the paddle to slow, and wave the traffic through with left arm.
- To slow traffic, turn the paddle to slow and raise and lower your left arm, palm down.
The emergency flag is held in the flaggers right hand, the left gives the signals.
- To stop traffic – hold flag vertically to side and raise left palm to traffic
- To release traffic into work area, lower flag and wave traffic through with left arm
- To slow traffic, raise and lower flag with right arm
This topic is just an introduction to flagging. We will be offering flagger training in the next few months. Jobs where flaggers are required must have trained flaggers. Having properly trained flaggers can help prevent injuries to coworkers, the public and property.