Safety signage pilot launches in the City of Surrey
Richmond, B.C. (Sept. 3, 2020) — The Work Zone Safety Alliance and the City of Surrey are launching a pilot awareness initiative to get drivers to slow down when entering a Cone Zone.
Roadside work is dangerous, especially in the summer months when roadside work in Surrey and across the province increases. Last year, one roadside worker died as a result of being hit by a motor vehicle and 19 were injured. Between 2010 and 2019, 13 roadside workers were killed and 204 were injured and missed time from work.
To prevent injuries to roadside workers, the pilot initiative will place safety signs featuring a City of Surrey roadside worker and her children at multiple Cone Zones throughout the city. The signs remind drivers to slow down and drive with care when entering roadside work zones.
The awareness initiative is informed by research by the Work Zone Safety Alliance that found 75 per cent of drivers surveyed say that advanced warning signs are effective in getting them to slow down at roadside work zones.
As part of the pilot initiative, drivers and roadside workers will be surveyed for their feedback to evaluate the effectiveness of safety signage at Cone Zones and for future collaboration considerations with other municipalities and ministries.
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.
Under the “Slow Down, Move Over” law, drivers should be prepared to reduce speed and move over to an open lane when driving near a vehicle with flashing amber, red, or blue lights (tow, fire, police, ambulance).
Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their workers and contractors along B.C.’s roads and highways, including:
- Ensuring their workers understand the hazards related to working at the roadside.
- Providing their 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.
Harry Bains, Minister of Labour:
“Roadside work is dangerous. Please remember the safety of those who are working on the roads to improve our communities. Workers’ lives and safety are truly at stake – that’s why I urge that when you are driving and see traffic cones, please let that be a prompt to slow down.”
Al Johnson, Head of Prevention Services, WorkSafeBC:
“We can all do our part to keep roadside workers safe in B.C. The safety signage initiative is a reminder for drivers that the most important things they can do are to slow down and pay attention when approaching roadside worksites. Respecting the Cone Zone saves lives.”
Doug McCallum, City of Surrey Mayor:
“We all have a role to play in keeping our roads safe for all users, including roadside workers. The Cone Zone campaign sends a clear message for drivers to slow down and pay attention when entering areas where roadside workers are particularly vulnerable. Respect the Cone Zone and the people that are working hard to keep our roadways safe. Slow down and save lives.”
Visit Mitchell’s story, My Dad Works Here, at www.conezonebc.com/videos/mitchells-story-tow-operator-safety
Visit Christy’s story, My Mom Works Here, at www.conezonebc.com/videos/my-mommy-works-here-christys-story/
For additional statistics, access this infographic on Tableau.
About the Cone Zone Campaign
The Cone Zone campaign, supported by the Work Zone Safety Alliance, aims to reduce the number of deaths and injuries to roadside workers by increasing awareness of the vulnerability of these workers and encouraging drivers to practise safe driving behaviour in the Cone Zone.
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, CoreCode Safety and Compliance, Government of B.C., IBEW 258, Insurance Corporation of B.C., Justice Institute of British Columbia, LiUNA Local 1611, Mainroad Group, RCMP, Road Safety at Work, SafetyDriven, Telus, the Universal Group, and WorkSafeBC.
About Road Safety at Work
Road Safety at Work is a WorkSafeBC-funded initiative managed by the Justice Institute of BC 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.
About Vision Zero Surrey
Vision Zero Surrey was launched by the City of Surrey in February 2019 and is a holistic, integrated approach to road safety that shifts our thinking from the movement of traffic to the safe movement of people. Vision Zero Surrey works to eliminate fatalities and injuries on our roads by addressing the complex interactions between roads, road users and vehicles by incorporating best practices in road design, slowing drivers at critical locations, educating road users on responsible road use and advocating for improved legislation. It uses a data-driven, evidence-based approach to addresses the top contributing factors to deadly and serious injury crashes. Find out more at www.surrey.ca/services-payments/parking-streets-transportation/vision-zero-surrey.
Media Relations – WorkSafeBC