Sweeping Operation

Backing Up
February 22, 2017
Working Around Overhead Power Lines
February 22, 2017

Job Description

This guideline describes the removal of various loose materials from the road surface with a power broom.

Hazard Identification

Personal Injury
• Crushing, muscle pull/strain, pinch points, eye, slip, trip and fall.

• Equipment accident/incident, entanglement, hydraulic failure, struck-by.

• Dust, visibility, weather, working alone, flying debris.


1. Pre-Job Planning
1.1 Equipment operator must be familiar with and adhere to Traffic Accommodation and Work Zone Traffic Plans.
1.2 Operators must be competent for units or vehicles they are operating.
1.3 All appropriate Personal Protective Equipment must be worn and dust masks or breathing devices should be worn by operators and flaggers.
2. Toolbox Meeting
2.1 A pre-job toolbox meeting and documentation is required to ensure that workers understand work assignments, traffic control plans, traffic accommodation plans and hazards.
2.2  Additional toolbox meetings and documentation will be necessary when hazards, conditions or activities change.
3.  Circle Check
3.1  Complete circle check and documentation.
3.2 Each operator conducts a circle check on equipment being operated to detect equipment deficiencies and ensure that all horns, lights and back up alarms and other safety devices are in good working condition and turned on. Advise the supervisor/foreman of any repairs or deficiencies that need to be fixed or that the equipment needs to be removed from operation until repairs can be made.
3.3  The operator should only perform repairs or adjustments that they can perform competently and have other repairs performed by a qualified/competent person.
4. Sweeping Equipment Requirements
4.1 Ensure all components are working properly before commencing work.
4.2 Ensure doors/windows are secured open or closed position at all times.
4.3 Make sure that each piece of equipment has an audible operational back up alarm.
4.4 Ensure bristle length is adequate for duration of job.
4.5 Ensure fluorescent flags are in position in front of or on the broom mechanism.
4.6 Ensure unit displays slow moving sign on back of unit.
4.7 Ensure unit is equipped with seat belts.
4.8 Check communication equipment is available.
4.9 Ensure headlights, 4-way flashers and rotary lights are functional.
5. Sweeping Practices
5.1 Assess sweeping area, traffic and wind conditions. Plan sweeping operations to minimize visibility problems.
5.2  If there is a problem with visibility, water may be used to control dust.
5.3 Flag person(s) must be used to control traffic while sweeping. A pilot vehicle may be required as well.
5.3.1 On low volume, two-way highways, 1 flagger in radio contact with the sweeper may be sufficient. The flagger holds traffic in the lane the dust is crossing while sweeping occurs.  During the sweeping operation if traffic approaches the sweeper, the operator should cease sweeping until traffic is clear.
5.3.2 On medium volume, two-way highways, 2 flaggers in radio contact should stop all traffic while sweeping occurs.
5.3.3 On high volume, two-way highways, 2 flaggers and a pilot vehicle may be required.
5.3.4 On four lane highways, a flagger(s), pilot vehicle(s), light boards and delineators may be required.
5.4 When flag person(s) and a pilot vehicle are required.
5.4.1  Make sure the flag person(s), pilot vehicle operator and equipment operator understand all necessary signals and safety precautions.
5.4.2    Sweeping should not commence until the flag person or pilot vehicle operator communicates that the work zone is clear of traffic.
5.5  Understand the maneuvering limitations of vehicles and equipment, such as:
5.5.1   At the end of the sweep area, when the broom equipment turns around to commence the next sweeping pass.
5.5.2 When backing up, turning around on road or parking on approaches.
5.6   Stay alert to recognize and deal with dangerous situations.
5.7  Ensure all sweeping operations are completed prior to sunset.
5.8 Leave public awareness signs up as long as required.

Personal Protective Equipment

• As required by Contractor Safety Policy.
Tools / Equipment

• As required by Contractor Safety Policy.
Related Safe Operating Guidelines

List relevant Contractor S.O.G.s that are available, such as:

• Backing Up
• Working around Overhead Power Lines
• Working Around Ground Workers
• Pilot Vehicle Operation