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How to become a traffic controller in Melbourne

By fastlabourhire • Feb 15th 2022
How to become a traffic controller in Melbourne

Are you thinking of becoming a traffic controller in Melbourne? Here at Fast Labour Hire we came up with some key tips and advices so you can get work in construction sites in Melbourne.

Construction is booming! Even during Covid lockdowns, building and major infrastructure projects still need to be carried out.

The good news is you don’t have to have years of specialised experience in a trade to work in the construction industry. One role that is open to most is that of traffic controller in Melbourne.

When you think of construction, do you imagine hefty blokes hauling steel bars over their shoulders? That stereotype vanishes when it comes to being a traffic controller as nowadays there are more and more women doing this role.

So, how do you get to be a traffic controller? Read on.

What Do You Need To Be A Traffic Controller?

If you are considering applying for a job as a traffic controller please review the items covered in this blog before you decide to apply.

Gear and Equipment

Traffic Controller in Melbourne

As a traffic controller, you will need to use some specific gear and equipment.

PPE (personal protective equipment) is required on every construction site. As a traffic controller you will need:

  • Steel toe cap boots: you cannot go onsite without them.
  • Hard hat: a broad brimmed hat with a fluorescent band or a legionnaire hat may also be worn so you’re not blinded by the sun. You must be able to see oncoming traffic, a dangerous hazard for traffic controllers on a construction site.
  • High visibility top and trousers: you also need to be visible to others so you must wear a long-sleeved fluorescent shirt (usually yellow or orange) with a reflector band. The site you are on may require a specific type of shirt. All traffic controllers must be labeled ‘Traffic Controller’ across the back of the high vis top. Trousers must be full length (usually navy with fluorescent stripes) on them with a reflector band.
  • Earplugs: construction sites are noisy places! The soundwaves from heavy machinery and road works are so loud they could damage your eardrums permanently. Protecting your hearing is a must.
  • Protective eyewear: this not only protects your eyes against any airborne hazards in the worksite. Sunglasses must be polarised to protect your eyes from the sun and ensure that as a traffic controller, you have full vision in strong sunlight. It must meet Australian Standards.
  • Sunscreen: sounds obvious but as traffic controllers are outdoors during the whole working day, you need to protect your skin. Some works sites supply this but it’s always useful to have your own when you need it.

What Equipment Are You Expected To Use As A Traffic Controller?

  • Stop and slow bat: your basic tool of trade, this is a double-sided round bat that has ‘Stop’ and ‘Slow’ written on either side. To be effective, it should be clean and in good condition so that it can easily be seen and read by oncoming traffic.
  • Chevrons: usually black and yellow with lights or orange signs with black arrows, they are used to divert traffic.
  • Witches hats and cones: these warn pedestrians and drivers of diversions, obstructions or hazards ahead, on or near the construction site.
  • Barriers and barricades: These can be post and rope barriers, road traffic barriers, removable bollards, expandable and portable barriers or orange cones. Barriers and barricades are used to keep equipment and vehicles from entering hazardous areas.
  • Danger tape: sounds as if the tape is dangerous, but no. Like barriers and barricades, danger tape is used to block access to unsafe areas on a construction site so workers, pedestrians and drivers can be at minimal risk of accidents or fatalities.
  • Signs: these, such as ‘stop/go’, ‘keep left’/’keep right’ and ‘no left/right turn’, are placed where necessary to assist pedestrians and drivers to avoid obstructions near the construction site.

Training and Tickets Required To Become A Traffic Controller

Traffic Controller Jobs

Now you know what you need in terms of gear and equipment, you will need training on how to be a traffic controller.

There are many courses available for learning to be a traffic controller.

If you wish to work in Melbourne, there are short courses that train you for Melbourne’s particular working conditions and regulations. 

Some courses are available online that take you through all the requirements. Others can be done face to face and even onsite.

They last around 7 hours and cost around $150–$200. Choose a reputable RTO to register with.

Whatever course you choose, you must be able to speak and understand basic English. You will complete language, numeracy and literacy assessments at the start of the course to assess your capacity to meet language requirements.

This is so that you and your future employer can feel confident that your commands and instructions as a traffic controller will be understood immediately and without confusion.

The training in these courses covers:

  • an overview of OH&S roles and your responsibilities
  • onsite traffic management plans
  • risk and hazard management
  • traffic control principles
  • working with road users.

After completing your course, you will receive a Traffic Controller’s Photo Licence. You will also need a White Card and a current drivers licence.

Traffic Controllers For Hire Melbourne

If outdoor life and working in a booming industry as a traffic controller is for you, get in contact with Fast Labour Hire today!

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