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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation
FHWA Highway Safety Programs


The first consideration during any installation or maintenance of drainage features is the safety of both the work crew and the motorist. Therefore, remember to follow these safety procedures:

  • Assure workers have proper Personal Protective Equipment.
  • Before any excavation begins, determine if underground utilities are in the area.
  • Follow safe trenching operation techniques.
  • Comply with confined space requirements.
  • Be aware of crushing hazards and pinch points.
  • Be aware of loose materials, excavation drop-offs, tripping hazards, uneven ground.
  • Avoid walking and working under suspended loads.
  • Determine escape routes in case of emergency.

In addition, before work begins, it is important to set up proper work zone traffic control. Appendix B provides three typical traffic control plans that may be applicable depending upon the type of work being performed-- use layout no. 1 (6H-1) when the work is beyond the shoulder area; use layout no. 2 (6H-6) when the work is being done on the shoulder, and use layout no. 3 (6H-17), if the work is a moving operation such as for cleaning out curb inlets. These are for illustrative purposes; refer to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for more detailed guidance.