Slow down. It’s Cone Zone season.

As summer approaches and roadside work increases there will be over 25,000 British Columbians working in “Cone Zones”. Their roadside work areas, large or small, are separated from passing traffic by orange cones and other delineators to keep both the workers and drivers safe from injury.

Between 2004 and 2013, 239 roadside worker motor vehicle incidents were reported to WorkSafeBC – 15 resulted in a fatality. That is an average of 24 workers each year hit by a motor vehicle while working on or beside the road. One is killed.

There are many types of workers in Cone Zones including transportation drivers, emergency response personnel, municipal workers, utility workers and landscapers who are often responsible for setting up their own cone zones and managing traffic while attending to their work.

Workers report that speeding and driver distraction, primarily cell phone use, are the most common dangerous driving behaviours that they witness.

Here are some ways to make sure that both you and roadside workers stay safe:

  • Slow down
  • Pay attention – if you are using a hands-free device, end your call immediately
  • Be aware of workers – make sure to give them space (move over to another lane, if it’s safe to do so) and follow their signs and directions

As an employer, make sure your workers are properly protected when working at the roadside. Do it right, take the time to properly set up and manage your work zone.
Even with safety measures in place, serious injuries, near misses and fatalities caused by distracted, aggressive or speeding drivers are a reality of the workplace for roadside workers in B.C. Watch their stories at conezonebc.com/video-gallery/

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