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Berm (Shoulder) Safety Tips

​This Tailgate Talk is part of the NLTAPA collection.


Berm (Shoulder) maintenance has three particular safety hazards including moving traffic around the operation, moving equipment inside the work area, and lots of dust.


Berming is an operation like many others that is done over and over again - so many time that we may forget some of the basics. Your job is to reshape and smooth dirt and gravel surfaces to provide proper drainage and a smooth surface for vehicles that leave the pavement for whatever reason.

Material that is used to restore the berm is usually loaded from stockpiles in a yard. Once the truck is in position for loading, drivers should remain in the cab until the loading operation is completed.

When you first arrive at the worksite, review your traffic control plans to make sure drivers can move around the operation without becoming confused.

Berming equipment operators need to exercise caution and stay alert at all times by watching out for workers on the ground and the movement of traffic.

Dust should be managed for visibility and health (silica) concerns. Wait until everything clears and use a spotter if necessary to avoid hazards such as powerlines and limbs. Use and understand simple signals between the spotter and operator.

Be aware and alert of overhead clearances, especially if there are power lines, bridges, or trees along the route.

Everyone needs to work together to make berm maintenance a smooth operation. Take the time to care about safety!

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