Safety is always a top priority at Jacketta Sweeping Services, so we were honored when owner Debbie Jacketta was invited to speak on the topic of night time safety at the National Pavement Expo held this January in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. National Pavement Expo (NPE) is the foremost pavement trade show for vendors and contractors who make their living from asphalt paving, infrared pavement repair, sealcoating, striping, sweeping, crack repair and pavement repair.
In our work, often a lot happens at night. Parking lots and streets overall tend to be less crowded with cars, so the job is easier. Road construction often increases at night during warmer weather. This helps get the jobs done more quickly, but also can improve safety for the highway workers. In many cold and mountainous states, there are regions that have shorter road construction windows, so the season gets compressed. In fact there is an old humorous saying “We have two seasons here—road construction and winter.”
Debbie’s speech focused on improving safety for workers particularly at night and gave some valuable tips to the audience, discussing some internal controls they have in place now. She honestly discussed how the issue became a specific priority to the company, and explained how other companies can learn from Jacketta Sweeping and adapt their practices for improved safety.ather. This helps get the jobs done more quickly, but also can improve safety for the highway workers. In many mountain states, there are regions that have shorter road construction windows, so the season gets compressed. In fact there is an old humorous saying: “We have two seasons here—road construction and winter.”
A blog post about the NPE on the ForConstructionPros.com website featured a few of the conference speakers, including Debbie Jacketta. This post offers a bit of insight into other topics of interest in our industry as well that were addressed at the conference.
Driving And Night Time Fatigue
Another area of concern for any night time workers who get behind the wheel is fatigue. While many of us believe shift workers naturally adapt to the reverse-normal schedule, fatigue and sleepiness can be a real problem.
Jacketta Sweeping teaches our staff that if they are sleepy and starting to nod out, find a safe place to pull over and take a quick nap. While it might seem to a casual observer that someone is shirking their job if they see a sweeper pulled over in a parking lot with the driver asleep, but it’s actually much safer for everyone. Far better the job take a bit longer and we preserve life and property, as well as avoid injury.
As a driver, pedestrian, or cyclist, you should also be aware of road construction and sweeping zones. Be sure to slow down, and give adequate room to those working. If you are driving tired, it’s time to take a good break, and nap if you are sleepy. While we believe you should avoid distracted driving anytime—no texting behind the wheel, please—it’s even more important at night when your visual field is shortened, and possibly affected by lights.
Let’s all make safety a priority.