Employers who do short-duration roadside work – like landscaping and utility repairs – have a new tool kit of “information about roadside hazards, work zone preparation, and safe work procedures.”
The Roadside Workers Safety Kit is targeted at workers and employers who work where a certified traffic control person is not required.
Under BC’s Health and Safety Regulation Part 18 Traffic Control all employers are required to “ensure that effective traffic control is provided and used whenever traffic could be hazardous to a worker.”
It also mandates “…traffic control equipment, arrangements and procedures must meet the requirements of the latest edition of The Traffic Control Manual” from the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
“We have plenty of employers out there who are quite small in terms of size, including the number of workers they have,” says Mark Ordeman, WorkSafeBC manager in Industry and Labour Services.
“Many are probably not aware of exactly what responsibilities they have around roadside work and what they should do in terms of traffic control set-ups. These tools and resources can assist them those kinds of employers to give them in meeting their requirements and keeping workers safe.”
I called Mark for more details on this new info, released at the start of the 2015 Cone Zone Campaign kick-off. I wrote about this important campaign in my posts Slow down in the Cone Zone and Slow down and respect roadside workers.
The Cone Zone is aimed at the driving public, reminding us to watch for road workers, follow their instructions, and slow down.
“But the employers and workers need to take care as well,” Mark said, describing the target audience of the new tool kit. “And we think it’s important to provide support to these smaller employers doing shorter duration, relatively lower risk work, who might not have the awareness or education to make sure they are as safe as they can be at the roadside.”
“Working close to traffic is dangerous,” reads the tool kit section for workers. “Each roadside worksite has its own unique set of hazards. Make sure your employer or supervisor has informed you of the hazards at your worksite before beginning work.”