|DATE: February 28, 1996
INCIDENT TYPE: Vehicle Accident
LOCATION: District 11
TYPE OF WORK ACTIVITY: Sign Replacement
THE ACCIDENT: On Wednesday, February 21, 1996, a sign crew stopped at SR 163 and
Clairemont Mesa Blvd. to replace a R63/W11 (Pavement Width/Do Not Pass) sign. The sign was
located in the gore formed by the connector ramp and the northbound entrance ramp from
Clairemont Mesa Blvd. They positioned their work vehicle on the shoulder of the connector
adjacent to the sign. Their barrier vehicle was also parked on the shoulder of the
connector and was set up approximately 50 feet behind their work vehicle. The crew
positioned this barrier vehicle to protect them from the connector traffic. A short time
later, their supervisor arrived at the site and he placed his vehicle in a position to
protect the workers from the entrance ramp traffic. At approximately 2:05 PM, a private
vehicle skidded on the entrance ramp and struck the supervisor's vehicle (see Diagram 1 on
the back of this alert).
CONCLUSIONS: The crew believes that if the private vehicle had not struck the
supervisor's vehicle, it definitely would have struck them. The consequences of that would
have been very serious.
The barrier vehicle was placed to protect the crew from connector traffic. The crew
considered that traffic the primary hazard. The traffic from the ramp generally is slower
and presented less of a hazard.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Protect yourself from all traffic. Vehicles on entrance and
exit ramps pose as serious a threat as traffic on the mainline. If the supervisor's
vehicle was not available, the work vehicle could have been used as a barrier (see Diagram
2 on the back of this alert). If the work vehicle is used as a barrier, the crew should be
instructed to work from the front of the vehicle and avoid working from the traffic side
or near the rear of the vehicle. As always, face traffic and be alert for escape routes.
Protect yourself by using your eyes and ears to listen and watch for errant vehicles.
HEADQUARTERS OFFICE OF SAFETY AND HEALTH (916) 227-2640