Wear a high-visibility vest that meets strict safety standards. That’s the message to everyone who drives trucks for a living. Wearing a high-visibility (or hi-vis) vest is a good way to be seen and reduce the risk of being seriously injured by a passing vehicle.
That’s what happened to 40 truck drivers between 2004 and 2013, reports WorkSafeBC. They were struck by passing vehicles on public roads while putting on tire chains or performing other vehicle tasks at the side of the road.
A blog post from the Trucking Safety Council of BC – Wear a safety vest and be seen… and stay alive – advises drivers to use their hi-vis vests while getting out of their trucks and crossing streets. This comes after a number of pedestrians were hit by vehicles. I called Jimmy Sandhu, safety advisor at TSCBC, to ask more about the message in his post.
He said drivers already have hi-vis vests at hand: “They have the safety vest close by because they’re required to wear them at most sites they go to,” Jimmy said.
So why not use the vests when they get out of their trucks and cross the street? Sounds like a good idea – especially if it’s right there.
“When you’re out on the road, you need to look out for your own safety,” Jimmy said. “It’s important to take a few seconds to put on your hi-vis vest and take your own safety into account – and not do it simply because somebody else is telling you to do it.”
BC’s Cone Zone campaign continues its work to make drivers aware of the people at work on their roads. Since 2004, 239 roadside vehicle incidents involving workers have been reported to WorkSafeBC — 15 of these were fatalities.
More work needs to be done – and I thank those who continue their efforts. For more information on hi-vis vest requirements, refer to the WCB Standard: PPE 2 High Visibility Garment — Personal Protective Equipment Standard 2 or the back of this poster.