Public Works Safety

Tree Removal

When removing trees, be advised that safety is a necessary precaution. The materials that you use for the removal, the items you wear, and the processes you choose to take can all affect your intended outcomes. Only conduct removals when absolutely necessary. Leave the job to the professionals.

  • Clothing: When removing trees, be advised that your ears, eyes, legs, feet, hands, head, face, and hearing should be protected. In general, wear long-sleeved clothing along with pants to protect yourself from potentially dangerous chemicals or debris.

  • Materials: Generally, chainsaws are used for tree removals. Before cutting the tree, estimate how far the tree will fall once cut. Leave more room than you think you’ll need. Drop the tree by using a rope to guide it downward.

  • Process: Do not remove trees during inclement weather. This includes: rain, snow, thunder, or sleet. Beware of other dangerous environmental factors such as: weak limbs, broken branches, dead or rotting wood, poisonous insects or plants, or hanging power lines.

Stealing Signage

There’s never a good excuse to steal a sign. Doing so can result in harm, frustration, and even tragedy. Be careful and stay informed so you don’t make a detrimental mistake on the road.

  • Stop signs and street signs are often stolen. The all to common crime could not only result in motorists getting lost, but could potentially cause a deadly accident. For example, you’re approaching what should be a stop sign at a 3-way stop. You decide to turn left because you believe you have right of way. A resulting avoidable crash could occur.

  • Stealing signs is a very serious crime that can result in hefty fines and jail time. If injuries occur, the sign thief will most likely be held responsible.

  • Property owners can also be punished for sign thefts. Because it is the responsibility of owners to warn guests of hazards, they can be sued if they fail to do so.

  • Taxpayers can suffer when an increase in sign theft increases. The average cost to purchase and reinstall a stop sign is $500.

Call 811 Before You Dig

Always call before you dig! A few minutes with an operator can save you the headache of repairing damaged property later on down the line. Here’s how the process goes:

  • Call 811 to notify your local call center, or make an online request 2-3 days before you plan to dig.

  • Wait the required amount of time before you start digging.

  • Confirm that your underground utilities have been marked by utility operators.

  • Dig with care and respect the marks the operators made.

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Watch Out For Road Crews

Exercise caution when driving near road crews. Above all else, pay attention and exercise good judgment. It can literally be the difference between life and death.

  • Practice safe defensive driving techniques. Drive slower than normal. (Never go over 45 mph in work zones.) In general, when approaching work zones, get one lane over when possible.

  • Be patient. Consider the safety of your fellow passengers, crew members, and motorists.

  • Resist the urge to get distracted by your phone, and other electronic devices while waiting in work areas.

  • Keep your distance from power lines, dips or holes, or any other potentially dangerous area that has been roped, tapped, blocked, or fenced off.

Pay Attention To Flag Men

It can be easy to get riled up on the road. You’re already running late, and you suddenly get derailed by traffic. It’s important to keep your cool when approaching working zones with flag workers, they can help make your detours safer.

  • Flag men can be identified by their bright helmets and reflexive jackets.

  • Follow their directions. Allow crew members to direct you verbally, or with signage and signals.

  • Consider that disobeying the flagger’s instructions can result in citations.

  • Be compassionate towards them. They’re placed in vulnerable positions on the road for the sake of protecting you, the motorist. Be considerate of their lives and duties.