Flagger Ahead

  • Thu Aug 6th, 2015 10:44pm
  • Life

Most of you probably don’t know this, but I am a Certified Professional Construction Traffic Controlling Technician Specialist … more commonly known as a “flagger.” Knowing this about me, I’m sure you’re wondering why I am not enjoying a career in this exciting and rewarding field.

The answer to that question can be summed up in one word; hunter orange. Flaggers often have to wear clothing that is very similar in color to hunter orange. For the same reason that I do not hunt, I do not flag. To quote a previous column: “Hunter orange is not my color. When you say things like, ‘Hunter orange is not my color.’ it is clear that you are not going to be a good hunter.”

That being said, the certification process was not a complete waste of my time. The excruciating 12-minute flagging class taught me about the 5:1 Law. I have mentioned this law in a previous column as well, but for those of you who missed it, here is a quote; “As with all government projects, there was a mandatory 5:1 ratio of supervisors to actual people working. This is a federal law in case you didn’t know. That is why you always see a group of workers watching one person do all the work. We all joke about it, but it’s a law that must be followed.”

The 5:1 law is mostly for safety precautions and as I witnessed last Wednesday, the company working on Spartan Avenue last week takes this law seriously. When driving through the construction area, I saw that the company wasn’t content with merely doing the bare minimum. Instead, they went above and beyond with seven supervisors watching one guy work. He was sweeping the road so it was necessary to have seven supervisors standing by for safety reasons. Sweeping is more dangerous that one thinks. Things like slivers, blisters and hand cramps are not to be taken lightly. I also learned that in my flagging class.

Despite the 5:1 Law making things take a little longer (especially with the overachieving construction company’s policy of 7:1), the construction company seems to have done a fabulous job on our road. I didn’t notice anything wrong with them before, but admittedly, I’m not very observant. It is possible that I was the only one who thought they were fine before. Either way, I’m sure that the roads are much finer now.

My car however, is not much finer. In fact, it is a little worser. My tires did not fare well with the rough lane edges. Also, on the lower portion of my car, I have a lot of sticky tar stuff that I can’t get off. I’m not too worried about the costs of fixing all of that though. If I need a side job, I can always fall back on my Professional Construction Traffic Controlling Technician Specialist Certification. If there aren’t any flagging jobs available, there will definitely be a flagger supervising position available. Can you imagine how exciting THAT job would be?!

For questions, comments, or home remedies for getting rid of the tar stuff, e-mail me at [email protected]