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Guide to Traffic Control Plan and Traffic Management Plan

Guide to Traffic Control Plan and Traffic Management Plan

Aug 15th 2022

Guide to Traffic Control Plan and Traffic Management Plan

Working around traffic can be dangerous, especially if the traffic is not well managed. As a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), you must use a traffic management plan to control the health and safety risks. This includes using a traffic control plan to manage traffic flow and minimise the chances of accidents.

What is Traffic Management Plan?

A traffic management plan involves planning and controlling the movement of people and goods within an area. This can include stationary and moving traffic, pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles. The goal of traffic management is to keep this movement orderly and efficiently to minimise risk at the workplace. A traffic management plan is a tool that helps you to do this.

A traffic management plan typically includes several elements, such as identifying the types of traffic present, determining the routes they will take, and putting measures to control traffic flow in place. When developing a traffic management plan, it is essential to consider all potential hazards, as even minor problems can cause major disruptions if not properly addressed.

What is the Purpose of a Traffic Management Plan?

A traffic management plan aims to protect workers, pedestrians, and motorists by minimising the risks associated with traffic movement. Establishing effective methods for managing traffic in the workplace serves an important role. They are designed for the following purposes:

Safety: a traffic management plan eliminates or reduces the chances of accidents occurring.

Accessibility: a traffic management plan aids in the smooth traffic flow and makes it easier for people to get around. It makes sure that pedestrians and vehicles can share the same space without coming into conflict.

Compliance with relevant legislation: a traffic management plan helps organisations to comply with relevant legislation.

Traffic controller managing traffic

Work Health and Safety (WHS) Responsibilities

Under the  model WHS Act, everyone has WHS responsibilities in the workplace. Suppose you're a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), a principal contractor, designer, manufacturer, importer, supplier, and installer of machinery, materials, or constructions. In that case, you have specific duties under the Act.

You must ensure workers' health and safety as a PCBU by discussing with workers directly affected by a health and safety risk and cooperating with other responsibility bearers. You must also comply with any relevant traffic management regulations. This includes managing health and safety concerns, mobility equipment, and worker representation. Failure to meet your WHS responsibilities can result in significant penalties, so it's important that you understand your obligations under the law and develop a traffic management plan.

Managing Traffic Risks

At its most basic, traffic management is all about keeping people safe by managing traffic conditions. Whether you are responsible for a construction site, a warehouse, or a busy office, it is important to be aware of the potential hazards posed by traffic and to put measures in place to minimise the risks. Your workplace health and safety duties are identifying hazards, assessing them and controlling traffic risks. You can take several steps to control the risks associated with traffic.

#1 Identifying Traffic Hazards

Many potential hazards can cause problems for employees in the workplace. Traffic Hazards are one type of hazard that can pose a serious threat to workers. Traffic hazards can include cars and trucks driving through the work area to pedestrians walking through the work area. Traffic hazards can result in injuries or even death if not adequately controlled.

When identifying hazards with traffic management, it is essential to consider the layout of the workplace and how people and vehicles interact. This includes:

  • Looking at the floor plan layout and determining where there are overhead structures
  • Consider whether work is close to public areas.
  • Consider high traffic volumes, which can impact traffic flow and create hazards.
  • Check for blind spots, as these can be areas where accidents are more likely to occur.
  • Check if there are areas of poor visibility, as this can also impact safety.

When designing and managing traffic flow, it is necessary to consider the vehicles using the space and height for other objects. Loading and unloading areas should be marked, and vehicles should be directed to park in designated areas that provide the appropriate road surface and allow for easy entry and exit.

Check out these safety documents helpful for identifying workplace hazards:

#2 Assessing Traffic Risks

Risk assessments are an essential part of ensuring workplace safety. By identifying potential hazards and assessing their likelihood, employers can take steps to minimise the risk of harm to employees. Traffic hazards are common workplace hazards, and a thorough risk assessment can help identify potential risks and control measures. Some factors to consider when assessing traffic hazards include:

  • the volume and speed of traffic
  • the layout of the workplace
  • the type of work being undertaken

By considering these factors, employers can develop effective control measures to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.

Here are a couple of safety documents you can use when conducting a risk assessment for warehouse traffic management:

#3 Risk Control Measures for Traffic Management

When controlling risk in any workplace, the hierarchy of controls is always the best place to start, as recommended by  Safe Work Australia. This framework prioritises the most effective control measures over the least effective ones.

Elimination: the PCBU is responsible for ensuring the safety of employees, contractors and visitors in the workplace. One of the ways to do this is by implementing controls to eliminate traffic hazards. For example, consider if powered mobile plants or other vehicles present in the workplace can be removed.

Substitution, Isolation, and Engineering Controls: it may be possible to substitute the hazard for something safer. For example, trucks and forklifts could be swapped for load-shifting equipment such as a walker stacker. Alternatively, the risk could be isolated from workers by isolating pedestrians from vehicles using overhead walkways. Engineering controls could also be used, such as fitting vehicles with devices such as reversing sensors and cameras.

Administrative controls: if risk remains, even after implementing engineering controls and safe work practices, administrative control measures should be implemented. These measures are designed to reduce the chances of an accident or injury. Administrative controls can take many forms, but some common examples include training, instruction and supervision.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): PPE helps to protect workers from being hit by vehicles or other hazards. High visibility clothing is one type of PPE often used in traffic control measures. PPE is designed to protect workers from injuries but cannot eliminate all risks. PPE should only be used as a last resort when all other control measures have been implemented. Examples of PPE for traffic risks include:

  • Reflective pants, shirts, or jumpers
  • High-visibility vests
  • Lace steel cap boots
  • Hard hats with brim
  • Earplugs or earmuffs
  • Safety glasses or goggles

Check out these safety documents helpful for control measures related to workplace traffic risks:

#4 Safe Work Method Statements for Traffic Management

Before undertaking any construction work on or next to a public road, it is important to assess the risks involved first. This type of work is classified as high risk due to the potential for injuries from moving traffic. As such, it is essential to have a safe work method statement (SWMS) in place. SWMS are an important part of traffic management plans. It outlines the work to be done, the hazards associated with the work, and the traffic control measures in place to minimise the risks. SWMS should be developed prior to undertaking any work that could pose a risk to workers and should be reviewed and updated as required.

Check out these related safety documents to SWMS traffic management:

Traffic Control Plan (TCP)

A traffic control plan (TCP) is a document that outlines the steps necessary to manage and control traffic in a workplace. The plan includes a section on emergency procedures, as well as how to deal with incidents or accidents that occur. A traffic control plan can also be a diagram or layout plan illustrating the arrangement of signage and devices used to manage traffic at your worksite. It is an important tool that helps traffic controllers safely and efficiently direct traffic around construction zones, temporary road closures, and other potential hazards. TCP also allows for allocating traffic control and information measures in response to a particular, pre-defined scenario.

There are a variety of traffic control plans that are used to help regulate the flow of traffic and keep motorists safe. The typical traffic controls include:

  • Give way signs: to indicate who has the right of way
  • Signages: used to warn motorists of potential hazards ahead
  • Speed limits: sets the maximum speed that vehicles are allowed to travel to ensure that vehicles are travelling at a safe speed
  • Traffic cones: used to direct traffic around a construction site or other hazard
  • Barricades: used to block off an area entirely
  • Traffic controllers: used with other traffic controls, such as signs and cones, to help direct motorists safely through an area.
  • Roundabouts: to regulate the flow of traffic
  • Traffic lights: to control the sequence of traffic flow
  • One-way streets: to restrict the direction of traffic flow
  • Pedestrian crossings: to provide safe crossing points for road users

Traffic controller and ute

Traffic Management Plan vs Traffic Control Plan

While a traffic management plan details how you intend to manage the hazards associated with traffic, including mapping out the flow of movements and the frequency of interactions between vehicles and pedestrians, traffic control plans or TCPs are just one of the elements of an effective Traffic Management Plan. Together, these elements create a coordinated system that helps to keep traffic moving and reduce the likelihood of accidents.

Where to Use Traffic Management and Control Plans?

Depending on the type of business or activity being undertaken, traffic management and control plans may be required for:

Construction Site

Workplaces where construction activity occurs can be complex and busy environments, with various vehicles moving around the site. This can pose many risks to health and safety, and it is, therefore, essential that traffic is managed effectively. By putting measures in places such as traffic management plans and marked routes, it is possible to reduce the risks posed by vehicular traffic.

Check out Safe Work Australia's  guide on managing traffic movements in construction workplaces.

Events Site

Vehicle, powered mobile plants moving around can create a serious risk of death or injury for workers volunteering at an event as well as members of the public. It is essential that measures are put in place to ensure that traffic is managed effectively and hazards are controlled.

Check out Safe Work Australia's  guide on managing traffic movements at events.

Shopping Centres

Traffic in and around shopping centres can include a variety of vehicles, from passenger cars to delivery trucks, as well as road users like customers, workers and business owners. This traffic can often be congested, particularly at weekends and holidays. This congestion can cause problems for shoppers, businesses and residents. To reduce congestion and improve traffic flow, shopping centres should consider a range of measures, such as dedicated parking for delivery trucks, improved pedestrian walkways and better signage.

Check out Safe Work Australia's guide on managing traffic movements at shopping centres.


At any given moment, a warehouse is a flurry of activity. Items are constantly being received from manufacturers, importers, and suppliers. These items are then transferred onto pallets and stored in the appropriate conditions - in a freezer, cold region, silo, or rack. When a client orders an item, warehouse workers must pick up the goods from storage and pack them for shipment. Lastly, the goods are loaded onto vehicles for transportation. A well-orchestrated process that ensures items are properly received, stored, and transported safely requires a traffic management plan.

Check out Safe Work Australia's guide on managing traffic movements at warehouses.

Shipping dock with cargo

Working on or near the road

As a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking, if you plan to undertake work on or next to a public road, you must first prepare an SWMS. It is important to note that working on or next to a public road is classified as high-risk construction work; as such, extra care must be taken to ensure the safety of all workers. Some potential hazards that need to be considered include traffic, noise, dust, and fumes. With these hazards in mind, you must devise a plan to ensure your workers' safety. This may include things like using traffic management plans, using personal protective equipment and providing training for your workers.

Many works require working on or near roads, such as:

  • Construction work, such as building or repairing roads, bridges, and other structures
  • Utility work, such as installing or repairing water, gas, or electricity lines
  • Maintenance work, from mowing and trimming to line marking and soil testing
  • Emergency work, such as repairing a damaged road or attending to a traffic accident.

Support your Traffic Management Plan with Safety Documents from SafetyDocs!

Creating and implementing a traffic management plan is time-consuming and labour-intensive for those responsible for overseeing these plans. A comprehensive traffic management plan requires the use of various documents, such as  Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS), Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Management Plans, and more.

SafetyDocs by SafetyCulture can assist you in preparing the necessary documents for your traffic management plan with our range of ready-developed safety documents, which can be easily customised to suit your specific needs. You can trust us to provide you with high-quality, up-to-date safety documents to help keep your workers safe and compliant with the relevant legislation. We are Australia's most trusted resource for safety documents, helping businesses improve their safety culture. We offer the following features:

  • Instant delivery of documents via Email
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  • Compliant with Australian and New Zealand's legislations

Get started today by browsing our range of safety documents. Check out our traffic management solutions:

To learn more about setting a comprehensive safety program for your workplace,  connect with SafetyDocs today!

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Available for instant download and supplied in fully editable MS Word format for use in your business.

Please note that the above information is provided as a comment only and should not be relied on as professional, legal or financial advice.

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