Richmond, BC / May 11, 2015 – Hundreds of roadside work zones will be set up around British Columbia this summer. Thousands of drivers will travel through those “cone zones”, and it is likely that many roadside workers will be hit and seriously injured by speeding or distracted drivers.
The responsibility for roadside worker safety lies with employers, workers and drivers.
With proper training and resources, roadside workers can keep themselves and others safe. A new work zone safety tool kit for employers, supervisors, and workers is available on the ConeZoneBC.com website.
The resources are intended for short-term roadside work, such as landscaping and utility repairs, where a Traffic Control Person is not required. The tool kit includes information about roadside hazards, work zone preparation, and safe work procedures.
Drivers can do their part by slowing down, paying attention and being respectful when travelling through a “cone zone”. The ConeZoneBC.com website has tips to help drivers navigate work zones and reduce the delays caused by roadside work.
Cone zones may have a flagger directing drivers, or simply be marked by small orange cones on the road. No matter the set-up, employers, workers and drivers have a role in roadside worker safety.
WorkSafeBC Industry and Labour Services Manager, Mark Ordeman –
“Safety in roadside work zones, or “cone zones”, depends on everyone paying attention and being respectful. Employers and workers are encouraged to educate themselves and practice safe work procedures for roadside work, and drivers should always be alert and follow the directions of workers and road signs.”
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond –
“Every worker has the right to a safe workplace and that certainly includes the people working on our province’s roadways. When you’re in a “cone zone”, slow down and pay attention to your driving so we can help prevent injuries and foster safe working environments for all B.C. workers.”
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Todd Stone –
“In the ten-year period from 2004 to 2013, 238 workers in our province have been hit by motor vehicles while working on or beside the road, and tragically 15 of these workers died. These deaths and injuries are preventable: I urge all drivers to take care when people are working on our highways and roads.”
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 BC, Automotive Retailers Association, BCAA, BC Construction Safety Alliance, BC Flagging Association, BC Landscape and Nursery Association, BC Municipal Safety Association, BC Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association, City of Prince George, City of Surrey, IBEW258, Insurance Corporation of BC, Justice Institute of British Columbia, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, RoadSafetyBC, RCMP, SafetyDriven, Shaw Communications Inc., SNC-Lavalin Graham Joint Venture (Evergreen Line Rapid Transit Project),Telus, Vancouver Police Department and WorkSafeBC.
WorkSafeBC is an independent provincial statutory agency governed by a board of directors that serves about 2.2 million workers and more than 215,000 employers. WorkSafeBC was born from the historic compromise between B.C.’s workers and employers in 1917 where workers gave up the right to sue their employers and fellow workers for injuries on the job in return for a no-fault insurance program fully paid for by employers. WorkSafeBC is committed to safe and healthy workplaces and to providing return-to-work rehabilitation and legislated compensation benefits.
For further information or photos please contact:
Road Safety at Work
Trish Knight Chernecki
Sr. Manager Government & Media Relations