General Notes - Section B
Flaggers and Flagging Operations
B-1. All flaggers at a minimum shall have training as per the most current version of Publication 408, Section 901.3(y), Flagger Training. Because flaggers are responsible for public safety and make the greatest contact with the public, it is essential to practice safe traffic control and public contact techniques. Flaggers must demonstrate the following abilities:
- Receive and communicate specific instructions clearly, firmly, and courteously.
- Move and maneuver quickly in order to avoid danger from errant vehicles. This means a flagger shall not be in a sitting position and no vehicles shall be parked near the flagging station.
- Control signaling devices (such as stop/slow paddles and flags) in order to provide clear and positive guidance to drivers approaching a temporary traffic control zone.
- Maintain situational awareness, protect the work crew, and provide guidance and direction to the traveling public.
B-2. Flaggers must be clearly visible to traffic for a minimum distance of E. This distance is based upon the speed limit and is found on the applicable PATA notes page.
B-3. Flaggers must be aware of the public image they project at all times. Behavior that could be construed as unprofessional, such as utilizing cell phones for personal conversations, texting, etc., is prohibited while performing flagging duties. Flaggers actively performing traffic control duties shall not participate in work not directly related to traffic control.
B-4. Additional flaggers shall be utilized to maintain control of traffic at all side roads, driveways, etc. that intersect the work zone between the flagger locations. If necessary, provide additional flaggers to properly control all movements within an intersection.
B-5. When multiple flaggers are used, they shall be in communication with each other at all times.
B-6. Except in emergency situations, each flagger station shall be illuminated at night with a portable overhead lighting source that provides an average luminance of 5 foot candles covering an area of 2,500 square feet (approximately 50'x50' or 28' radius). This may be achieved with lights of 30,000 to 40,000 lumens. The lighting source shall have a minimum color temperature of 3,000 degrees and a maximum of 4,000 degrees. Position the light so flaggers can be seen and not cause excessive glare to motorists.
B-7. When a highway-rail grade crossing exists within the work zone, or it is anticipated that queues resulting from the lane closure might extend through a highway-rail grade crossing, provisions shall be made to eliminate conflicts, which may require placing a flagger at the crossing. Coordination with the railroad is required.
B-8. It is recommended that flaggers stop traffic for as little time as possible.
B-9. The stop/slow paddle is the primary traffic control device used by flaggers. The stop/slow paddle:
- Shall be held under control of the flagger at all times. Do not support the paddle by inserting the shaft into a channelizing device, cart, or other device which is not listed in Publication 35 Bulletin 15 as an approved paddle support device.
- Shall display an 18" minimum stop sign on one face and a diamond shaped slow sign on the opposite face, both of which shall be retroreflective.
- Shall be attached to a shaft that has a minimum length of 72".
B-10. A red flag shall be used at intersections where a single flagger controls traffic approaching from more than one direction. A red flag may also be used in emergency situations when a stop/slow paddle is not available. It is unacceptable to control traffic with an orange flag that is normally used to supplement warning signs. Red flags:
- Shall be solid red in color with no stripes or patterns.
- Shall have a minimum size of 24" square.
- Shall be securely fastened to a staff that has a length of approximately 36".
- Shall be weighted on the free edge so the flag will hang vertically, even in high winds.
- Shall be retroreflective when used during nighttime operations.
- Shall not be waved as a notice for drivers to proceed.
B-11. Flaggers may be required to control traffic at signalized intersections when existing signal timing/phasing is not adequate to control traffic in work zones. Traffic signals are owned, operated, and maintained by the local municipality in which they are located and are programmed to operate automatically in accordance with traffic signal permits issued by the Department. Do not control traffic at a signalized intersection with a red flag while the signal is functioning in standard green-yellow-red operation. Municipal officials and/or the local police department shall be contacted to place the signal in flash mode or manual control mode. Requests shall be made in advance as coordination of resources may be necessary. Local officials may opt to have police manually control the signal or require efforts from the municipal signal contractor. Do not open a traffic signal control cabinet door prior to receiving approval from local authorities. Flagging operations may begin when the signal is placed in flash mode. In locations where multiple signalized intersections are located close together, it may be necessary to place multiple traffic signals in flash mode to control traffic flow through the work zone. Use additional flaggers as necessary to control traffic through each intersection. Return traffic signal operation to automatic control in accordance with the signal permit immediately upon conclusion of work.