Safety alert 10/2018 Advertisers standing near roadways, roundabouts and in parking areas

Employees standing near traffic along roadways, roundabouts and in parking areas while holding or ‘flapping’ advertising billboards can be exposed to a hazard from moving vehicles.

Employees often do not wear high-visibility clothing and are not aware of the traffic management plans that need to be in place. The activity also often takes place during periods of high road usage in mornings or afternoons.

In addition, this form of advertising may not comply with the advertising policies of Main Roads and/or the relevant local government authority.

Contributing factors

  • Employees standing or moving close to moving vehicles without any means of protection from the vehicles.
  • Failure of the employer to ensure a safe work method is established for employees engaged in such advertising or ‘flapping’ to minimise the risk of injury.
  • Failure of the employer to instruct employees in the safe work method and the hazards of interaction with vehicles and traffic.
  • Failure of the employer to ensure that personal protective equipment (PPE), in this instance high visibility clothing, is provided to employees as required.

Managing hazards and risks

  • Employers are required to identify hazards and assess the risks of injury or harm to employees engaged in advertising activities near moving vehicles (as far as is practicable). Risks associated with vehicle proximity, slips and trips, weather, manual handling and low light conditions should be considered.
  • Preferably the hazard should be eliminated by using a system of advertising that does not require employees to work near moving vehicles.
  • Employers are to provide, so far as is practicable, a safe system of work with respect to the activity of ‘flapping’ for purposes of advertising so employees are not exposed to hazards such as contact with moving vehicles.
  • Employers are required, so far as is practicable, to provide training and instruction to employees in relation to safe work methods when working near traffic.
  • The provision of high-visibility apparel by an employer is strongly recommended for employees working in street-side advertising as an element of a safe work system.  Other PPE may also be required based on the employer’s risk assessment, eg hat and long-sleeved clothing.

Further information

Further information can be obtained from the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation & Safety.  For information on occupational safety and health laws, call 1300 307 877

Last updated 12 Nov 2021

Last modified: