Media Release: RCMP, TELUS, Work Zone Safety Alliance partner to support roadside worker safety in Maple Ridge

Over the last 10 years, 12 roadside workers died and 221 were injured in BC

The BC Highway Patrol is partnering with the Work Zone Safety Alliance and TELUS today to raise awareness about the risks workers in Maple Ridge face while working on or alongside the road.

A traffic enforcement blitz at a worksite in Maple Ridge will see the BC Highway Patrol monitor traffic around the work zone and ticket drivers for unsafe behaviours. Tickets can range from $196 for disobeying a flag person to $368 for using an electronic device while driving to $483 for speeding.

The event is part of the BC Cone Zone campaign, which is supported by the Work Zone Safety Alliance. Now in its 13th year, the campaign reminds employers, workers, and drivers to do their part to prevent deaths and injuries to roadside workers.

“A vehicle driving through a Cone Zone is one of the greatest risks to a roadside worker,” says campaign spokesperson Trace Acres, program director for Road Safety at Work. “Dangerous driving behaviour like speeding and distracted driving puts these members of our communities at risk of injury and death.”

Between 2012 and 2021 in BC, 12 roadside workers were killed and 221 were injured resulting in time lost from work.

Cone Zones are work areas set up by roadside workers to protect themselves and the driving public. Road maintenance crews, tow truck operators, first responders, municipal workers, traffic control persons, construction crews, and other roadside workers all depend on drivers to respect the Cone Zone to keep their workplaces safe.

The BC Cone Zone campaign runs through Aug. 31, coinciding with the increase in roadside work throughout the province in summer. Drivers need to slow down when driving through a Cone Zone and pay attention to instructions from traffic control persons, temporary road signs and traffic control devices. Drivers need to stay focused on the road and leave the phone alone.

In addition, under BC’s “Slow Down, Move Over” law, drivers should be prepared to reduce speed and, if safe to do so, move over to an open lane when approaching a vehicle with flashing amber, red or blue lights (tow, fire, police).

Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their workers and contractors along BC’s roads and highways, including:

  • Ensuring workers understand the hazards related to working at the roadside.
  • Providing workers with training, equipment, supervision and resources to help keep them safe.

Roadside workers can work safely by:

  • Knowing how to identify hazards and assess risks.
  • Following safe work procedures, including work zone set-up and take-down.
  • Wearing appropriate high-visibility clothing and other PPE.
  • Reporting unsafe work conditions to their supervisor.

Employers and workers can also access online tools and resources at ConeZoneBC.com.

“The Cone Zone campaign is a joint provincial initiative supported by the Work Zone Safety Alliance of organizations committed to improving the safety of roadside workers,” Acres says. “Until the number of fatalities and injuries is zero, we will continue to take action to protect roadside workers. We ask all drivers, and roadside employers and workers to do the same.”

Quote:

Steven Scuor, Senior Safety Consultant, People & Culture at TELUS

“As a communications and information technology company, we have roadside workers on the job across the province. Our crews are often responding to emergency outages caused by weather events, theft or motor vehicle accidents, and in order to restore service as soon as possible for our customers, we aren’t always able to coordinate with Traffic Control Persons. This makes Cone Zones incredibly important to the safety of our crews, and ensures they return home to their loved ones at the end of their shift without injury. That is always our first priority – the safety of our people as they work diligently around the clock to keep our customers connected.”

About the Work Zone Safety Alliance

Alliance members include Ambulance Paramedics of BC, Automotive Retailers Association, BCAA, BC Construction Safety Alliance, BC Flagging Association, BC Highway Patrol – RCMP, BC Hydro, BC Municipal Safety Association, BC Road Builders & Heavy Construction Association, BC Road Safe, CoreCode Safety and Compliance, Government of BC, IBEW Local 258, Insurance Corporation of BC, Justice Institute of British Columbia, K & K Consulting, LiUNA Local 1611, Mainroad Group, Metro Traffic Management, Road Safety at Work, SafetyDriven, Telus, Trans Mountain, The Universal Group, Vancouver Island Construction Association, and WorkSafeBC.

About Road Safety at Work

Road Safety at Work is a WorkSafeBC-funded initiative, managed by the Justice Institute of British Columbia, aimed at eliminating work-related motor vehicle crashes, deaths, and injuries in British Columbia. Road Safety at Work offers free online resources and courses — as well as workshops, webinars, and consulting services — to help organizations plan, implement and monitor effective road safety programs.

Media contact

Gord Woodward, Communications manager
Road Safety at Work
250-734-3652
gwoodward@roadsafetyatwork.ca

This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.