Safety training for traffic flaggers reviewed and improved

The BC Construction Safety Alliance (BCCSA) updated its Traffic Control Person (TCP) program in 2016 to include new information on issues like driver behaviour and communicating on the roads.

Photo of worker in high-vis PPE carring traffic cones

Photo credit: iStock.com/Luka8au

The TCP program is a two-day course required of people who control traffic in B.C., delivered by training providers in different regions. It includes classroom and practical training and is the only program that WorkSafeBC accepts as meeting acceptable standards and requirements for TCPs working in high-risk locations.

Urvi Ramsoondar, BCCSA’s Assistant Director of Operations, says her team surveyed and interviewed industry stakeholders from 2013 to 2015 to get input on out how the TCP program could better support workplace safety. Urvi says: “We uncovered how the existing training program could be improved to better align with course learning objectives. Feedback also gave us direction for improving the TCP re-qualification process.”

TCP qualification is valid for three years and workers are required to update their qualification every three years, but the process for this is changing. Now, when their qualification is about to expire, TCPs are required to take an open-book re-qualification exam (invigilated by one of the BCCSA’s partner organizations at locations throughout the province) or to re-take the two-day course. However, by 2019, the re-qualification exam will no longer be open-book, but will be replaced with a one-day re-qualification course.

The new course material includes information on new laws to protect roadside workers brought in by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in January 2015. These laws require drivers to slow down and move over as soon as flashing lights are visible. This includes lights that are yellow and other colours – not just flashing blue and red.

This change to the law and enhanced training for TCPs are two ways we can keep our roadside workers safer, along with tactics I’ve described in other posts:

Cops pose as flaggers to catch distracted drivers in the act

Fort St. John flagger tells drivers to slow down

Safety tips for small employers of roadside workers

VIDEO: Respect the cone zone

Go slow and pay attention to roadside workers

“Slow Down” posters hit hard

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1 thought on “Safety training for traffic flaggers reviewed and improved

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    Nice to see this finally happening – we had been screaming for this kind of reform for years. Too bad it took so many deaths to finally see some changes.

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