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The Transport Research Laboratory – The Measurement of Injury Risk

Safer Road Users, 2015

One of the highest risk activities undertaken by road workers is installing or removing temporary traffic management. Workers are required to carry sign equipment across live carriageways, exposing themselves to high risk of fatal or serious injury.

In 2009 TRL has led research enabling Highways England to reduce this risk. This research culminated in guidance permitting omission of all central reservation signing at short-term road works, eliminating the need for carriageway crossings without increasing risk to drivers.

The Measurement of Injury Risk (MIRi) Index, developed by TRL to measure the relative risk associated with installing and removing different road works layouts, shows that Off Side Signs Removal decreases road worker injury risk by 24 – 28% compared to the previous standard techniques which required signs to be installed on both sides of the carriageway.

Before the work started, Highways England road workers undertook 3.7 million carriageway crossings each year. Sign Simplification reduced this to 2.9 million but Off Side Signs Removal decreases it to effectively zero.