Traffic control at work sites Technical Manual

Transport for NSW published Issue 6.0 of the Traffic control at work sites (TCAWS) Technical Manual in November 2020. Issue 6.0 of TCAWS provides the requirements for all temporary traffic control on NSW State Roads in line with recent industry and national practice updates. TCAWS Issue 6.0 aims to improve the safety of road workers and road users as they interact with roadwork sites in NSW.

Traffic control at worksites manual

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Issue 6.0

October 2020

Version 5.0

July 2018



The sections contained within the TCAWS Technical Manual Issue 6.0 are provided below. These sections have been made available for ease of access and use, however application of the TCAWS Technical Manual must be undertaken by persons who have an understanding of all parts. Sections must not be used or applied in isolation.


The TCAWS Technical Manual has been developed by Transport and must be applied to the following:

  • Transport work sites requiring temporary traffic management (TTM); and
  • Works involving temporary traffic management being undertaken for or on behalf of Transport (by contractors, local government and public utility bodies or similar).

TCAWS is to be read and used by personnel responsible for designing, implementing, operating and inspecting temporary traffic management at Transport work sites relating to maintenance or construction activities.

The information in this Technical Manual is provided to assist Transport in meeting its obligations under the NSW Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and NSW Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017. This Act places a positive duty of care on persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) to ensure the health and safety at work, so far as is reasonably practical (SFAIRP), of:

  • Workers they engage or cause to be engaged; and
  • Workers whose work activities they influence.

Section 1 Introduction

The TCAWS Technical Manual contains instructions for the following:

  • Management of risks associated with TTM;
  • Development of a traffic management plan (TMP);
  • How to design, select, obtain approval, record and store a traffic guidance scheme (TGS); and
  • How to undertake traffic management in a number of specific situations.

The requirements of this Technical Manual do not apply to 'standard work activities' outside the scope of construction or maintenance of a Transport managed road, or where traffic is not being managed via a traffic management plan or through the use of a traffic guidance scheme.

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Section 2 Temporary traffic management policies

Transport has a primary duty of care to ensure the health and safety of all persons at Transport work sites. This extends to its employees, its contractors and members of the public.

Section 2 contains a summary of the general TTM policies required by the TCAWS, providing a high standard of temporary traffic management and traffic control around, past or through a work site. This includes

  • A summary of requirements for:
    • Traffic Management Plans;
    • Traffic Guidance Schemes;
    • Traffic Control;
    • Signs and Devices; and
    • Worksites
  • Detailed requirements relating to personnel, including:
    • Training;
    • Fitness for Duty; and
    • PPE
  • Detailed requirements for the departures process

Appendix A provides a template that may be used to document departures to the requirements of TCAWS for inclusion in a traffic management plan.

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Section 3 Traffic management planning process

TTM is one of the highest risk activities on a road work site. As such, TTM planning, in accordance with this Technical Manual, must be undertaken to assist with meeting work health and safety requirements and to provide a safe work environment while maintaining road user safety and network efficiency.

Section 3 provides details relating to the development of a Traffic Management Plan, including:

  • Requirements associated with a traffic management strategy including:
    • Data collection;
    • Options assessment; and
    • Recommendations.
  • Process for developing a Traffic Management Plan including:
    • Verification of the traffic management strategy;
    • TTM Decisions;
    • Risk assessment;
    • Site specific documentation; and
    • TMP approval and review scheduling.

Appendix A provides a number of traffic management planning templates and tools that may be used to assist in carrying-out traffic management planning activities.

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Section 4 Input to a traffic management plan

Traffic management planning is a risk management process that requires the input of relevant stakeholders to eliminate or manage risk to workers and all road users SFAIRP. Section 4 provides the requirements and factors for consideration when developing a Traffic Management Plan, including:

  • Types of work as either;
    • Short or long term work; and
    • Static or Dynamic work
  • Temporary works design principles including:
    • Lane widths;
    • Clear zones;
    • Minimum clearances of workers to traffic;
    • Protection requirements for work areas;
    • Minimum sight distances;
    • Traffic staging plans; and
    • Detours
  • Provisions for specific road users, such as
    • Pedestrians;
    • Cyclists;
    • Motorcyclists; and
    • Heavy Vehicles.
  • Speed zone requirements, including:
    • Selection and criteria for use;
    • Implementation;
    • Minimum length zones;
    • Strategies for achieving speed zone compliance; and
    • Approval and record keeping.
  • End of queue management assessment and strategies and
  • Enhancing credibility of worksites

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Section 5 Providing for works

When developing a TMP, it is important to consider the impact of the works and its management within the road corridor. This includes the operation of traffic control and works vehicles and activity specific considerations that need to be made. Section 5 provides additional planning requirements for the management of works traffic within and around the work site. In particular, requirements for vehicle entry to and exit from the site and their movements on the road network surrounding the work site, such that the safety of road workers and road users is maintained while causing minimal disruption to the road network.

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Section 6 Signs and devices

Section 6 is used to determine the use and placement of TTM signs and devices at Transport work sites by persons holding the Prepare Workzone Traffic Management Plan (PWZTMP) or Implement Traffic Control Plan qualification (ITCP) as applicable. It includes defining the clearances and spacing for signs and devices as well as the sequence of installation and removal.

The devices in this Section include:

  • Portable traffic control devices (PTCDs);
  • Safety barriers;
  • Traffic guidance and delineation devices; and
  • Other safety devices.

Appendix B provides additional usage procedure requirements for various devices listed in Section 6. As such, Appendix B is intrinsic to the application of TCAWS.

Additionally, Section 6 prohibits the use of the following on work sites:

  • Isolated or non-continuous safety barrier units;
  • Barrier boards parallel to the direction of traffic flow; and
  • Any other traffic control device that is not authorised for use.

For authorisation to use an unaccepted traffic control device see Section 2.8 Departures from this Technical Manual.

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Section 7 Traffic guidance schemes

A TGS must be developed where the road environment is temporarily changed such that road users may be impacted. A TGS is a detailed layout of temporary signs and devices that communicates the TTM arrangement to guide traffic around, past or through a work site or temporary hazard. A TGS may be one of the following:

  • Generic;
  • Site Suitable; or
  • Site Specific.

Each TGS must be checked against risks identified in the TMP to ensure that the means of controlling or reducing these risks are in place.

Section 7 provides information to be used by PWZTMP and ITCP qualified persons to develop, select and implement a TGS. It covers:

  • Types of TGS
  • Principles of a TGS, including components of a work site and application of Dimension D;
  • Information required on a TGS;
  • How to select, design and implement a TGS; and
  • TGS finalisation and record keeping.

Appendix C provides a completed example TGS for practitioner reference.

Appendix D provides a number of work type layout examples that may be referenced when developing a TGS.

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Section 8 Work site inspections, recording and reporting

The ongoing monitoring, recording and reporting relating to a TTM worksite are critical to ensure the work site is operating safely. As such, the structure, schedule and process of these activities must be considered and identified during the TTM planning phase. These aspects will vary depending on the size, complexity and duration of works.

Section 8 provides detail relating to:

  • Worksite inspections, reviews and audits;
  • Record keeping requirements of TTM documentation; and
  • Process of reporting work site incidents

Appendix E provides a number of tools and templates that may be used to assist in undertaking TTM inspections and other monitoring activities.

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Appendix A - Traffic management planning templates and tools

Appendix A provides a number of templates that may be used by project teams in relation to temporary traffic management planning.

Additionally, this Appendix also provides a template that may be used by practitioners who wish to propose general departures to the requirements of this document.

Templates provided in Appendix A include:

  • Traffic management strategy template;
  • Traffic Management Plan and approval template;
  • Temporary Barrier Design Statement; and
  • General departures template.

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Appendix B - Device use requirements

Appendix B is a mandatory appendix and provides additional requirements, recommendations and information on the use, installation, operation and removal of some of the devices in Section 6 Signs and devices, referred to as Usage Procedures.

Device Usage Procedures contained within Appendix B include:

  • Type 2 (automatic) portable traffic signal systems;
  • Type 1 (manual) portable traffic signals systems;
  • Portable boom barriers;
  • Illuminated flashing arrow signs; and
  • Temporary portable rumble strips.

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Appendix C - Example TGS

Appendix C provides a completed example of a TGS with requirements contained within Section 7 Traffic guidance schemes (TGS).

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Appendix D - Work type layout examples

Appendix D provides various examples of work type layouts that may be referenced when developing a TGS. The requirements for preparing TGSs are provided in Section 7 Traffic guidance schemes (TGS).

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Appendix E - Inspection checklists and tools

Appendix E provides a number of checklists that may be used by project teams to assist in carrying out TTM inspections.

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