Work Zone Safety
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is committed to maintaining the safest possible work zones.
We do this by:
- Developing highway safety policies, standards and guidelines related to work zone safety
- Providing technical guidance, best practices and advice to work zone inquiries from internal and external customers
- Interpreting federal and state regulations and requirements
The Work Zone Safety staff is responsible for developing and issuing the Virginia Work Area Protection Manual, the Work Zone Safety Guidelines for Temporary Traffic Control pocket guide, and other work zone-related material.
We also manage the VDOT Work Zone Traffic Control Training Program and the Virginia Flagger Certification program as well as coordinate Work Zone Awareness Week.
VDOT Flagger Training Video and Revised Flagger Training Materials – VDOT has developed a new Flagger Training video and has revised the Flagger Training Materials. The new VDOT Flagger Training video can be found on YouTube: VDOT: Flagger Training. The video replaces the flagger certification training video which was produced by VDOT in 2007. Revised Flagger Training material based on the new video is available from ATSSA, use this Order Form. The revised flagger training material replaces the 2009 flagger training material. We encourage you to view the new Flagger Training video so you can apply its information in the field. When your current Flagger Certification expires, the new material shall be used to become re-certified in flagging.
A certified flagger may proctor the Flagger Training for their company. A flagger candidate must watch the training video, review the Flagger Training material and successfully pass the test. Inquiries in becoming a certified flagger for your company can be e-mailed to TEWorkZoneSafety@vdot.virginia.gov.
New - IIM-TE 345.1: Work Zone Traffic Control Training Procedures - See the procedures below under Work Zone Traffic Control Training Requirements.
- New - 10 definitions
- Clarifies the responsibilities of the Department, the Instructor and the Training Sponsors & Providers.
- New - Work Zone Traffic Control Exemptions for workers who perform permitted operations such as residential cable installation, Miss Utility marking and utility pole inspection.
- Updated roles for workers who need Intermediate Work Zone Traffic Control Training
- New - Work Zone Training for Law Enforcement Officer and other roles who require the LEO training
- Updated Table 5.1 Work Zone Traffic Control Training Requirements
- New - Added Trainee Prerequisites. Prefer that Basic Work Zone Traffic Control Training (WZTCT) be taken for new workers entering the work zone field; Intermediate WZTCT 2 years field experiences or passing of Basic WZTCT; Advance WZTCT for levels of roadway, bridge or traffic control plan development.
- New -Training Instructor Due Diligence to Trainees
- Periodic Evaluation and Course Update – Instructor must check/monitor OutsideVDOT extranet for updates before their classes.
- New - Acceptance of Another States DOT’s Work Zone Safety Training – When VDOT accepts another state’s training they will issue a Temporary Verification Card which expires in one year. The Trainee must take Virginia’s WZTCT prior to the card expiring.
- New - Failure to Perform Proper Temporary Traffic Control Procedures which provides corrective actions necessary to remove someone the Work Zone Traffic Control Training card
2011 Virginia Work Area Protection Manual (Revision 1)
The 2011 Virginia Work Area Protection Manual with Revision 1 contains the most current standards, guidance, options, and support for the design, application, and placement of Temporary Traffic Control Devices on roadways in Virginia during construction, maintenance, utility, permit and emergency operations.
Revision 1 clarifies questions raised since the 2011 WAPM was issued, contains information for compliance to MUTCD standards and provides some additional typical traffic control layouts recommended by field personnel.
The PDF version of Revision 1 is the most current edition of the official VDOT publication. The 2011 WAPM with Revision 1 can be accessed by clicking on the link below. To access a chapter, click on the chapter listing in the table of contents.
Note: Revision 1a to Appendix A of the manual related to the application of Temporary Barrier Service Concrete (TBSC) has been completed. The revised Appendix A is posted below. Please replace the April 2015 Appendix A Revision 1 with the October 2015 revision 1a.
In January 2015, Revision 1 to the 2011 Virginia Work Area Protection Manual was approved. Revision 1 becomes effective April 1, 2015, for daily operations. Revision 1 becomes effective July. 1, 2015 for projects bid on or after July 1, 2015
Copies of the 2011 WAPM with Revision 1 may soon be ordered from the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA).
The following document lists the technical changes shown in Revision 1 to the 2011 Work Area Protection Manual:
Below is a PowerPoint presentation listing the changes shown in Revision 1 to the 2011 Work Area Protection Manual:
The replacement pages for Revision 1 of the 2011 WAPM may be printed to update an existing paper copy of the 2011 Virginia Work Area Protection Manual:
The complete Revision 1 to the 2011 Virginia Work Area Protection Manual may be downloaded:
An April 2015 Work Zone Safety Guidelines for Temporary Traffic Control pocket guide, reflecting the changes in the Revision to the 2011 Virginia Work Area Protection Manual, can be accessed by clicking on the following link:
The 2011 Virginia Work Area Protection Manual (WAPM) without Revision 1 continues to be in effect for daily operations prior to April 1, 2015, and for projects advertised before July 1, 2015.
Copies of the 2011 WAPM may be ordered from the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) using the following order form.
The 2011 WAPM can be accessed by clicking on the link below. To access a chapter, click on the chapter listing in the table of contents.
The following document lists changes shown in the 2011 Work Area Protection Manual over the 2005 Work Area Protection Manual:
Below is a PowerPoint presentation listing the changes shown in the 2011 Work Area Protection Manual over the 2005 Work Area Protection Manual:
Based on the 2009 MUTCD and the new 2011 Virginia Work Area Protection Manual, VDOT has created the 2012 Work Zone Safety Guidelines for Temporary Traffic Control (typically referred as Work Zone safety Pocket Guide).
- 2012 Work Zone Safety Guidelines for Temporary Traffic Control
Copies of the 2012 Work Zone safety Guidelines for Temporary Traffic Control pocket guide may be ordered from ATSSA using the following order form.
NEW – Virginia Department of Transportation Work Zone Pedestrian and Bicycle Guidance
The Virginia Department of Transportation Work Zone Pedestrian and Bicycle Guidance document provides practitioners with information for temporary traffic control to assistance pedestrians, bicyclists and persons with disabilities a recommended route for the safe and effective movement through a work area. Examples of various applications, including applications meeting current ADA requirements, are illustrated.
A companion document, ADA Product Manufacturers, has been developed to assist practitioners. This document lists products that the manufacturer has advertised as ADA compliant. It is not a VDOT Approved Products list for these devices.
High Visibility Safety Apparel Requirements
Beginning July 1, 2012, the standard for high visibility safety apparel will change in Virginia from the wearing of an ANSI/ISEA Performance Class 2 apparel to an ANSI/ISEA Performance Class 3 garment.
Learn More On YouTube
The following work zone safety videos on YouTube may be used for safety talks or meetings.
2010 Work Zone Safety Playlist
Compliance with FHWA Rule on Work Zone Safety & Mobility (Transportation Management Plan Requirements)
The Virginia Department of Transportation has implemented Transportation Management Plan (TMP) requirements to meet federal regulations on work zone safety and mobility as published in 23 CFR Part 630J.
The following documents provides information and guidance on requirements for personnel involved in the planning, designing, supervising, implementation, inspection, maintenance and review of transportation management plans for work zone traffic control.
- Instructional and Informational Memorandum IIM-LD-241/TED-351 contains information, procedures and guidance on the development and implementation of project specific transportation management plans.
- The TMP design checklist assists designers to ensure that all applicable work zone elements have been captured during the design phases.
- The TMP post-construction report is used to provide an analysis of a project’s transportation management plan. The report is required to be submitted to the state traffic engineer at the conclusion of construction. The report may be submitted during construction as required by IIM-LD-241/TED-351.
Compliance to FHWA Final Rule to Subpart K
The following is the plan VDOT submitted to and had approved by FHWA to the Final Rule on Subpart K – Temporary Traffic Control Devices (PDF, 2 MB)
Work Zone Traffic Control Training Requirements
The Virginia Department of Transportation has implemented work zone traffic control training requirements to meet Federal Regulations on Work Zone Safety and Mobility as noted in 23 CFR Part 630J.
The following provides information on training requirements for personnel involved in the planning, designing, supervising, implementation, inspection and maintenance of work zone traffic control. It also provides information for individuals and organizations on developing and/or providing work zone traffic control training courses.
Only persons completing approved work zone traffic control training courses and possessing the appropriate valid and verifiable accreditation card will be allowed to oversee temporary traffic control activities within the Commonwealth of Virginia State Highway System right of way.
- The Work Zone Traffic Control Training Procedures (164 KB) contains information on specific personnel training requirements, submittal/approval of sponsor/provider course(s) and Instructor qualifications
- Frequently asked Work Zone Traffic Control Training questions (38 KB)
- Work Zone Traffic Control Training instructor application form (64 KB)
- Listing of approved Work Zone Traffic Control Training Sponsors and Providers (19 KB)
- Listing of approved Work Zone Traffic Control Training Instructors (200 KB)
- WZTC-trained personnel (2 MB)
- Listing of the Work Zone Safety Training Committee Members (18 KB)
- Listing of VDOT Work Zone Traffic Control Training Champions (25 KB)
- You must be a certified flagger to administer the program for your company.
- To become a certified flagger, contact a Work Zone Safety coordinator, who will administer the free certification process to you and one additional person.
- The coordinator will make an appointment for you to visit their office to review the basic flagger training video and handout information, and take the flagging certification test.
- The coordinator will proctor a 25-question test (a passing grade is 80 percent) and answer any questions you have.
- After receiving your flagger certification card, complete an order form to purchase a Flagger Certification Kit. Orders will be processed within 10 business days of receipt.
- Once you receive the Flagger Certification Kit, you can begin your company's program. You must retain the bottom portion of the employee’s Flagger Certification Card and the Flagging Certification Test answer sheet for your company’s records.
Automatic Flagger Assistance Devices
The FHWA has granted partial approval for the use of Automatic Flagger Assistance Devices, or AFADs, on two-lane roadways where one travel lane is closed. Based on a research project conducted by the Virginia Transportation Research Council on AFAD units used by VDOT personnel, the department now allows their use on projects which meet the following site conditions:
- A Two-lane, two-way roadway closed to one lane of traffic;
- Average daily traffic (ADT) count is 12,000 vehicles per day or less;
- Distance of the lane closure is 800 feet or less for one operator; approval by the Regional Traffic Engineer required for greater distances and multiple operators;
- Operator has unobstructed view of the Automatic Flagger Assistance Device and approaching traffic in both directions and;
- A log of their use is maintained and submitted to the Central Office Work Zone Safety section for review.
The typical traffic control figure to use for these devices is TTC-18.0 from the 2005 VA Work Area Protection manual, except the W20-7a graphic flagger sign may be eliminated if the flagger controlling the AFADs is removed from the roadway.
- The following form (11 KB) must be used to document daily used of the AFAD units.
- VRTC study (372 KB)
The 2005 edition of the Virginia Work Area Protection Manual (PDF, 26 MB) is effective for projects advertised between Nov. 1, 2005 and Dec. 31, 2011.
The 2007 Work Zone Safety Guidelines for Temporary Traffic Control pocket guide (PDF, 2 MB) is based on the 2005 Virginia Work Area Protection Manual.
Note - The following pages have been revised (with corresponding revision date) in the 2005 Virginia Area Protection Manual:
- Page 6E-1 (8/05), Changed “Flaggers shall speak English only while performing their job duty as a flagger at the flagger station” to “Flaggers shall be able to communicate to the traveling public in English while performing their job duty as a flagger at the flagger station.”
- Page 6C-6 (10/05), Combined the first two sentences in the second Guidance statement and changed Table 6C-2 to Tables 6C-3 and 4.
Page 6D-6 (10/05), Changed Item E in last Support statement to Item D
Work Zone Safety checklist (PDF, 250 KB)
To order these materials, complete the forms below.
Work Zone Crash Facts
The Traffic Engineering Division, through the Virginia Transportation Research Council, recently reviewed five years of work zone crash data to track trends from both a statewide and a VDOT district perspective.
The 2011-2015 Virginia Work Zone Crash Facts (PDF, 3.5 MB) report provides a comprehensive overview of traffic crashes occurring in work zones throughout the commonwealth.