VPD steps up enforcement in support of roadside-worker safetyPublished on: May 14, 2018
Today, the Vancouver Police Department is partnering with the Work Zone Safety Alliance and WorkSafeBC to kick off the eighth annual B.C. Cone Zone Campaign, with an enforcement blitz at a roadside worksite between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at Fraser Street and East 28th, Vancouver (see map below). The B.C. Cone Zone Campaign coincides with the increase in roadside work throughout the province in the spring and summer running until the end of August.
Last year, one roadside worker died as a result of being hit by a motor vehicle and 25 were injured. Between 2008 and 2017 there were a total of 12 roadside worker deaths and 218 injuries as a result of being hit by a motor vehicle. Of all those roadside workers injured, 42 percent were traffic control persons, 14 percent were truck drivers, and 10 percent were public services/construction labourers.
Roadside work zones are areas set up by roadside and emergency workers to protect themselves and the driving public. Cones, flashing lights and sometimes vehicles are used to alert drivers to route changes, blocked lanes, and the presence of workers.
Occupations in close proximity to traffic and at risk include ferry workers directing traffic, road-maintenance crews, telecommunications and utility workers, security guards, municipal workers and machine operators, first responders, and tow-truck operators.
Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their workers and are required to train and supervise their workers. Roadside workers can work safely by:
- Knowing how to identify hazards and assess risks
- Following safe-work procedures
- Following set-up and take-down regulations
- Wearing appropriate high-visibility garments
- Reporting unsafe work conditions to their supervisor
Major B.C. road projects underway during the 2018 spring and summer months include the Fraser Street Upgrades: King Edward to 33rd Ave. and the Quebec St. and 1st Ave.: Street Improvements in Vancouver; Westside Road – La Casa to Muir Road, in the Okanagan; and Highway 4 – Kennedy Hill Safety Improvements, between Port Alberni to the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Quotes about the Cone Zone Campaign:
Hon. Harry Bains, Minister of Labour:
“B.C.’s roadside workers do important work improving and repairing infrastructure we all rely on and they deserve a safe work environment. I urge all drivers to be mindful of the hardworking people on our roads by slowing down and driving safely through any and all work zones.”
Hon. Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure:
“With the increase in road work at this time of year across the province, I can’t stress enough the need for all drivers to slow down and use caution in construction zones. The people carrying out this important road work are in a vulnerable position, and they deserve our patience and full attention.”
Mark Ordeman, Manager of Industry and Labour Services, WorkSafeBC:
“The driving public must also be vigilant when they come across vehicles with flashing lights. If drivers see flashing blue, red or yellow lights they must slow down and move over to avoid harming workers such as first responders, tow-truck operators, and maintenance and utility crews.”
About the Work Zone Safety Alliance:
The Cone Zone campaign is a joint provincial initiative supported by organizations committed to improving the safety of roadside workers. They are Ambulance Paramedics of B.C., Automotive Retailers Association, BCAA, B.C. Construction Safety Alliance, B.C. Flagging Association, B.C. Landscape and Nursery Association, B.C. Municipal Safety Association, B.C. Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association, City of Prince George, City of Surrey, Government of B.C., International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 258, Insurance Corporation of B.C., Justice Institute of British Columbia, LiUNA Local 1611, RCMP, SafetyDriven, Telus, Lower Mainland police and WorkSafeBC.
WorkSafeBC is an independent provincial statutory agency governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the provincial government. The organization serves approximately 2.3 million workers and 231,000 employers throughout British Columbia. In administering the Workers Compensation Act, the organization is accountable to the public through the provincial government.
Map of event location:
Trish Knight Chernecki
Media Relations, WorkSafeBC
Media Relations, Road Safety at Work