DfT publishes updated safety code ‘Red Book’
The statutory Code of Practice 2013 is a revision to the existing ‘Code of practice 2001’. This code is informally known as the ‘Safety Code’ or the ‘Red Book’ and came into force on 1 October 2013 providing updated guidance on safe working at street works and road works sites.
The updated code is designed to make it simpler to follow and the site layout diagrams have been redrawn to make them easier to understand. It encourages safer working practices and there is more emphasis on risk assessment, providing for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users, and site-specific design.
Additional guidance is given on mobile and short duration works and working near tramways and railways, and advice on high visibility clothing and the signing and visibility requirements for works vehicles has been updated. The code also encourages operatives to think about minimising inconvenience to road users.
Purpose of the code
The Code of Practice is intended to help safely carry out signing, lighting and guarding of street works and road works on all highways and roads, except motorways and any dual carriageways with a speed limit of 50 mph or more.
It is directed at operatives, supervisors, managers, planners and designers who are responsible for making sure that all street and road works are safe for both operatives and the public.
The code stresses that road users including pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians (horse riders) should not be put at risk, and should be able to see the extent and nature of any obstruction well before they reach it.
Particular attention must be paid to the needs of disabled people and other vulnerable groups such as elderly people, children and those with push chairs.