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Because volunteers are so important to the AAH program, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) requires that certain safety measures be taken and offers other safety tips to AAH participants. The following list is a SUMMARY of the rules and safety tips offered by ODOT. AAH applicants will attend a safety training session and receive a safety brochure outlining the precautions they should take. This list is not a substitute for that information.


REMEMBER: You are working in a dangerous environment a public highway.

Crew members should possess the following minimum qualifications:

  1. Good common sense
  2. Good physical condition, including sight and hearing
  3. Mental alertness
  4. A sense of responsibility for the safety of the public and crew
  5. Must be at least 15 years old


  • Knives, machetes, axes, etc., should not be carried by crew members.
  • Do not attempt to compact (squeeze) trash sacks to gain room for more trash. Injuries from broken or jagged objects often result from this practice.
  • Fill the sack with what goes in easily and then get another bag.
  • Park all vehicles well clear of the roadway and at least ten feet from the shoulder’s surface.
  • Keep vehicles on same side of the highway as volunteers.
  • Work one side of highway at a time. Car pool to site to reduce number of vehicles.


  • Whenever possible, face oncoming traffic while you work. Be prepared to move out of the way of vehicles in an emergency.
  • Discontinue work in inclement weather, especially in times of reduced visibility and wet/icy roads.
  • Work during daylight hours ONLY.
  • Avoid overexertion. Drink plenty of water, especially on warm, humid days.
  • Post a lookout to be aware of traffic situations.
  • Have a refresher session on safety awareness each time a crew goes out.
  • Do not cross traveled sections of roadway.
  • Avoid using headsets! Headsets will interfere with hearing oncoming traffic or other potential hazards.


  • Wear light-colored clothing and safety vest at all times when working on the highway right-of-way.
  • Wear heavy gloves. Do not pick up discarded syringes or hypodermic needles.
  • Watch your footing and wear substantial leather shoes or boots with ankle support. Stay off riprap and steep slopes.
  • Wear a hat and long sleeves to avoid sunburn. On sunny days, you may wish to use sunscreen on exposed skin.


  • Do not touch or attempt to remove known or suspected toxic/hazardous substances. Notify the Department of Transportation or the local Police with the location of such items immediately.
  • Be alert! Avoid areas where snakes may hide, such as tall grass, old logs, or heaps of brush. Be equally alert for stinging insects and especially fire ants.
  • Avoid contact with poison ivy, poison oak and other noxious weeds.
  • Avoid areas where herbicides have been applied the same day.
  • Do not attempt to pick up items on bridges, in tunnels, or on overpasses. These areas are especially dangerous to pedestrian workers.
  • Stay well clear of all mowing, maintenance, or construction activities.
  • Do not enter roadway or shoulder areas, paved or unpaved, to pick up trash.

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