Chapter 2: Safety and Traffic, Section 3: Major Construction Incidents


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Published Date: November 2019


Section 3 Major Construction Incidents

2-301 General

This section provides guidelines for reporting and addressing major construction incidents (incidents) on construction projects. For more detailed guidelines on reporting, refer to Chapter 19, “Special Reporting of Serious Injury, Illness, or Fatality,” of the Caltrans Safety and Health Manual.

2-302 Reportable Incidents

Report incidents that involve:

  • Serious injury, or illness, or death of: contractor’s employee, Caltrans employee, consultant employee, or member of the public in the work zone that was influenced by construction-related activities, conditions, equipment, or personnel.
  • Damage rendering equipment owned by the state, a consultant, or the contractor inoperable.
  • Public vehicles entering an active work zone resulting in a close call that could have caused a serious injury to or death of a contractor’s employee, Caltrans employee, or consultant employee.
  • Collision with facilities or temporary work involving vertical or horizontal clearance, such as structures under construction or their supporting falsework.
  • Incidents without injury or death that have a high potential for being fatal or disabling, such as falsework or guying system failures, overturned cranes, high-voltage power line contacts, trench excavation or shoring failures, gas or fuel line fires or explosions, hazardous utility breaks.
  • Major damage to a state facility.
  • Evacuation of the project, the immediate area, or both.
  • Encounters of previously unknown hazardous material on a construction project.
  • Hazardous spills within construction project limits.
  • Traffic delays longer than 30 minutes.
  • Any event that affected the state facility or project work and that may generate media coverage.

2-303 Reporting Procedures

2-303A Serious Injury or Fatality Related Incident

Headquarters Construction needs to be made aware, without delay, of incidents. In order to facilitate these communications and provide support and guidance to field staff, district construction policies should be structured according to the following:

Field staff:

  1. First call 911 to obtain emergency services. Some locations may require a method other than a cell phone, which should be known ahead of time and be included in the project-specific Code of Safe Practices.
  2. After emergency responders have secured the site, report to the district transportation management center (TMC), the district communication center, or—when district TMC or the district communication center is closed—the Headquarters Communication Center.
  3. Coordinate with emergency responders, other Caltrans staff, California Highway Patrol, contractors, utility owners, and other affected parties.
  4. After emergency responders and district TMC or district communications centers have been contacted, and if time allows, contact supervisors and managers within their district construction organization.
  5. Consult with construction supervisors and managers in assessing the incident and to seek additional guidance on safety, response, corrective measures, traffic mitigation, and any further reporting.
  6. Complete Form CEM‑0603, “Major Construction Incident Notification” and email it to Major.Incident.Reports@dot.ca.gov, the district construction safety coordinator and district Construction managers. When necessary, provide updated information using Form CEM-0603.

District Construction supervisors and managers:

  1. When there is a serious injury or fatality among Caltrans, contractor, consultant, or local agency staff, immediately notify the Construction division chief by phone.
  2. After assisting Caltrans field staff, notify and provide incident details to district managers in Maintenance, Operations, Public Affairs, and the district director by email.
  3. Coordinate actions between divisions as necessary.
  4. Notify, as appropriate, the Construction division chief, assistant division chief and coordinators.
  5. Provide notification and details to local partners in a separate email, as time permits.
  6. Provide lane closure status information to Construction deputies and progress reports including milestones with an estimated time for lane re-opening, as appropriate.
  7. Provide incident final reports, as appropriate, to district division chiefs and the district director.

2-303B All Other Related Incidents

Immediately report all other related reportable incidents to the district transportation management center (TMC), the district communication center, or—when district TMC or the district communication center is closed—the Headquarters Communication Center.

Fill out and complete Form CEM‑0603, “Major Construction Incident Notification” and email it to Major.Incident.Reports@dot.ca.gov, the district construction safety coordinator and district construction managers. When necessary, provide updated information using Form CEM-0603.

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