Road Crews and Construction workers are benefitting the most from the hot, sunny weather here in northern BC.
However, this can also pose a risk as they come in contact with drivers on a daily basis and in most cases, endure some pretty close calls.
WorkSafe BC launched its eight annual Cone Zone campaign today and the timing is perfect with the conditions the way they are.
“Enter the time of the year with the great weather where a whole lot more road construction is taking place and the work on the roadsides is occurring, it really is about communicating to the public about the risks roadside workers face,” says Mark Ordeman, Manager of Industry and Labour Services.
Forty-two percent of all injuries involving cone zone workers is traffic control people while 14% were truck drivers.
Ordeman adds the numbers are simply too high.
“Well, last year we saw one roadside worker die as a result of being hit by a motor vehicle along with another 25 who were injured pretty significantly and actually if look back ten years we have 12 roadside worker deaths and 218 injuries.”
“Frankly, the only thing that would be acceptable to us is zero so we’re working hard with this campaign and our partners to communicate with the driving public to change those driving behaviors and keep them safe so they can head home to their families.”
He believes there is a misconception out there that Cone Zone workers are strictly flagpersons or construction personnel – that’s not entirely the case.
“Keep in mind, when we talk about roadside workers we are not just talking about flaggers or construction crew, we’re talking about municipal workers, tow drivers, first responders, utility workers and the list is large on who could be on the roadway.”
WorkSafe has a very informative website called Cone Zone BC, which provides a number of helpful tools and resources for both workers and employers.
“We talk about how to identify hazards and risks, how to put procedures in place to protect themselves from that and how to put on personal protective equipment and high-visibility equipment to make themselves well seen by the driving public.”