Top 5 Flagger Certification Programs: Get the Best Resources for Your Traffic Control Business
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Flaggers play a crucial role in maintaining and controlling road safety.
The primary job of flaggers is to manage the incessant flow of traffic around construction sites. Evidently, the job comes with huge responsibilities. If the job sounds appealing to you, you will surely benefit from flagger certification.
Not only does this job offer great career opportunities, but the traffic control management business in itself is one of the best ways to make profits in today’s time. Construction companies and government agencies require flagger services all the time. The high demand for flaggers makes it a very profitable business opportunity, given you play your cards right.
No matter whether you are looking for a job in the flagger industry or trying to set up your own business, you must have proper flagger certificates. Flaggers are responsible for keeping drivers, pedestrians, and construction workers safe. Naturally, you must possess the necessary knowledge and skills to do the job perfectly. The certification ensures that you know how to do the job.
The importance of certification does not end here. Apart from ensuring quality, hiring certified flaggers is a legal requirement in most states. That is, you cannot run a flagger business without certified flaggers. However, the details of this requirement vary from state to state.
Various organizations offer these certification courses. You can even get your flagger certification online. But you must do it from an authentic institution. Else, it would be a total waste of time and money. And that is something you surely don’t want if you are looking to make profits in your business.
1. What is Flagger Certification?
As mentioned earlier, flaggers are personnel who manage the traffic flow around a construction site. This could be both a government agency and private businesses. Their primary job is to keep construction workers, drivers, and pedestrians safe. They do it by using various equipment, signs, and hand signals.
In light of the requirements, flagger certification courses teach standard flagger control procedures, references, hand signals, and various flagger practices to handle any untoward situation on a job site. The courses also teach how to use equipment such as hand-held radios, scanners, etc.
You will learn about state traffic laws and regulations as part of the program. Moreover, some classroom flagger certificate programs also train personnel in first-aid to ensure that they can perform as first responders in case there is an emergency such as road accidents or collapsing of construction.
- Directing Traffic Flow: Flaggers manage and direct the vehicles using special signs and hand signals.
- Placing Signs and Cones: At the beginning of a work day, flaggers need to place barricades and traffic cones defining the construction area and the designated route for the vehicles. They also need to place specific signs such as “Road Closed”, “Road Work Ahead”, “Road Work Ends”, etc. as well as remove them upon job completion.
- Informing Vehicles about Detours: In some instances, flaggers might also have to inform the motorists about the rerouting and other relevant traffic-related information.
- Communicating with Colleagues, Supervisors, and Construction Workers: Traffic control requires coordination, for it involves several individuals at several points in the work site. Flaggers need to maintain communication to ensure this coordination in order to maintain safety.
- Keeping Records:Flaggers need to keep track and report any violations of traffic rules. They are also responsible for reporting concerns about traffic issues or unsafe conditions at the construction site.
There are various types of certificate courses available for flaggers. This includes flaggers, supervisors, dispatchers, trainers, and so on. The course length and pricing generally depend on the course type. But if you are looking for a quick solution, there are even 4-8 hour online courses available as well. Whatever certification you opt for, be sure to renew your certificate within the prescribed time.
Regardless of the type of flagger certificate course you choose for you or your workers, one must go through a state-approved program based on their location. You can choose from both offline and online flagger certification courses. However, make sure the program is recognized by your state traffic authority.
2. Why Flagger Certification is Important for Your Traffic Control Business?
- Compliance: When you work with certified flaggers, you are making sure that your business operations are meeting both the local and federal standards of compliance guidelines. You won’t be able to run your business without fulfilling the legal requirements, and this certificate is certainly the topmost priority in the traffic control business.
- Safety: This is perhaps the most important aspect of having flagger certification. It ensures that the people you are working with have the necessary knowledge and expertise in managing traffic and responding to any emergency arising at the job site. They are well-versed with safety protocols, have hands-on experience with safety equipment, and are aware of traffic rules and regulations. Not only does this ensure safety for everyone on the road, but it also increases your credibility and brand value as a traffic control business.
- Efficient Traffic Management: Traffic is one of the greatest concerns in urban life. It could be quite challenging sometimes even for expert traffic personnel. So, if you choose to hire untrained flaggers without any knowledge of traffic management or signalling, things are bound to get more challenging. Besides, recruiting untrained flaggers would hinder the main purpose of using flagger service– i.e., maintaining a smooth traffic flow. On the other hand, professional, flaggers know the best practices and tactics to keep the vehicles on the road moving. And this assurance of efficiency could be the key to making your business more profitable.
3. Where to Get Flagger Certification From
Here are some of the organizations you can get your flagger certifications from:
The American Traffic Safety Service Association (ATSSA) is the most recognized flagger certification authority in the country. ATSSA certification is accepted in most states except CA, FL, GA, IA, IL, MN, MS, MT, NC, NE, NJ, NV, OR, RI, SC, SD, TX, UT, VA & WA.
(NC accepts ATSSA online flagger certification for recertification).
This program offers an 8-hour online course with necessary flagging skills, regulations, and equipment training. It is valid for 3 years and is accepted in the states of Washington, Montana, and Idaho.
The Work Zone Flagger Certification Course offered by OSHA is a fully online training program that gives you the ability to work as a certified flagger as required by the department of transportation and MUTCD. With this certification, you can work in the states of Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho with a 3-year validity of your license.
National Highway Institute (NHI) offers a free online flagger certification program for basic flagger duties. This 1-hour refresher course is best suited for work zone safety workers with previous experience in flagging.
The NSC Work Zone Flagger Program is an introductory course to teach roadway safety personnel the basics of traffic control protocols and techniques. It is a 4-hour customized online course to cater to state-specific requirements. Upon completion of the basic course, one can further apply for NSC Work Zone Technician and Work Zone Supervisor Courses.
4. How to Best Utilize the Skills of Your Field Workers
The chief advantage of hiring field workers with proper flagger certification and experience is that they will come with the basic knowledge and skills to do the job efficiently. However, you would still need to have a workforce management system to utilize the resources to their maximum potential.
Usually, a standard traffic control business work on several projects, employing numerous field workers at a time. It involves the risks of mismanagement if you choose to run things with manual systems. This is why more and more traffic control companies are choosing digital tools to automate their processes.
In today’s market, there are various paperless business solutions available for running a traffic control business smoothly. They range from scheduling and dispatching to time tracking and invoicing among many other things. However, there is a smarter way to optimize your resources and use your flaggers’ skills and expertise more effectively.
Instead of spending a fortune on different software solutions and mobile applications, choose an integrated traffic control management software that can take care of all your business processes in one place.
And this is exactly what Field Promax offers you. As such, this could be your ultimate solution to improve quality and productivity, thus turning your business into a more profitable one.
Field Promax has developed a customized traffic control management system that automates every aspect of traffic control business, including workforce management. It is built specifically for efficient, smooth, and productive flagger workforce management.
The biggest advantage of using the digital tool is that it organizes the entire database of your field workers. It features a comprehensive dashboard, where you can view your employees’ availability, current location, as well as their certification details. This way, you can easily identify the right person for a specific job based on their skills and assign them for the job on the same platform.
With the entire employee calendar available at your fingertips, you can also reschedule assignments, find alternatives, schedule and dispatch field workers for emergency job orders, and do much more. Simply put, Field Promax gives you a complete solution to manage your employees based on their skills and availability.
5. More About Field Promax
If you think Field Promax is just another scheduling software, you are in for a big surprise. The incredible software solution has more in store than you can ever imagine. As we have already mentioned, Field Promax offers you a one-stop solution for all of your business needs.
Apart from the most efficient scheduling and dispatching system, Field Promax also provides you with a host of amazing features, including:
A dedicated mobile app for flaggers that enables them to stay connected with the office around the clock. It is an intuitive, easy-to-use application that runs on any smartphone, and requires less than 15 minutes of training. Available on both iOS and Android.
Field Promax mobile app is powered by advanced GPS technology, through which you can monitor your flaggers’ current location in real-time. This adds more transparency and scalability to your business processes.
The latest features of this incredible traffic management software include a comprehensive dashboard providing valuable analytics and reports on all your operations, helping you to make better-informed decisions. All these reports can further be exported to Excel sheets.
With dynamic team management, you can assign multiple crew leads with access to important data and worker information, job details, as well as communication channels connecting them with every flagger working under their supervision. Besides, each lead can manage time sheets, track equipment, and update directly from the job site, ensuring complete visibility and transparency with minimum effort on the management’s part.
Field Promax allows flaggers and supervisors to create and modify invoices in the field, and share them directly with the clients. You can also track the invoices and keep a tab on all the payments with a click on your computer/smartphone.
Field Promax features seamless two-way integration with QuickBooks, allowing you to organize all your customer data in one place, as well as use the information for various tasks, including work order management, billing, invoicing, and payment tracking. It prevents bookkeeping errors, eliminates the need for redundant data entry, and automatically manages recurring work orders.
Traffic control management is one of the most promising business ideas in today’s time. As cities keep expanding and suburbs continue to develop, there will always be a growing demand for trained flaggers around the country.
Given the potential in the industry, this is the right time to set up your flagger business. To make it a profitable one, however, you need to ensure that you have the best resources to make the most of your investment.
First, you must start with obtaining the necessary license and permits. Once you have registered your business, start hiring expert flaggers with proper certifications. And finally, choose automation for your business. Pick the best traffic control software solution and watch your business grow.