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We are not talking about someone who raises the American Flag each morning or takes it down in the afternoon. In construction, a flag person is best known as the worker or workers who manage traffic flow along a highway or street when road repair is underway. There are also flag persons who are responsible for signaling crane operators, truck drivers when dumping loads, for hoisting operations, etc. These people must be knowledgeable in the use of correct hand signals.

In either case a flag person has a great deal of responsibility. For roadwork they must be easily visible to traffic and must be able to direct traffic around the work the crew is doing. When flagging traffic they should try to position themselves in such a way that there is some type of barrier between them and the traffic if at all possible. This will give them some protection should they need it. They must be sure their signals can be clearly seen by oncoming traffic. Stop and slow paddles work very well. The red or orange garment provided must be worn at all times and must be made of a reflectorized material if work continues into the evening hours.

OSHA Standard 1926.201 Signaling requires - (I) When operations are such that signs, signals, and barricades do not provide necessary protection on or adjacent to a highway or street, flag persons or other appropriate traffic controls shall be provided. (2) Signaling directions by flag person shall conform to American National Standards Institute D6.1-1971, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways. (3) Hand signaling by flag persons shall be by use of red flags at least 18 inches square or sign paddles, and in periods of darkness, red lights. (4) All flag persons shall be provided with and shall wear a red or orange warning garment while flagging and at night shall be of a reflector type material

If you as a flag person have any questions about your flagging duties, check with your supervisor before beginning your shift. If you need a break, let your supervisor know so a replacement can take over your position.