Whenever crews work on underground infrastructure along the roadside, they’re in danger of being struck by passing vehicles.
Working at the side of a road for any reason and for any amount of time means they’re considered roadside workers. And that means their employers have specific responsibilities for their safety. This includes meeting revised traffic control regulations that require a work zone risk assessment.
The new ConeZoneBC.com provides practical guides and checklists you can use to meet your responsibilities.
What counts as roadside work
Your employees may work along the road full time, part time, or only occasionally. It doesn’t need to be part of their job description. A worker who pulls over to the side of the road to secure a load, for example, is doing roadside work.
What it means for your business
When you have roadside workers the law requires you to comply with Part 18 of WorkSafeBC’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. Its traffic control requirements were revised in December 2021. They require you to:
Do a risk assessment of your work zones
If the work is planned, such as for scheduled work, the assessment needs to be done in advance. If the work is unplanned, such as for an emergency repair, the worker needs to carry out the assessment before getting out of their vehicle.
Identify the potential hazards
Every work zone has a unique set of hazards. Common ones around infrastructure sites include speeding or distracted drivers, congested roads, poor sight lines, and poor weather or road conditions.
Take steps to protect workers
The risk assessment will determine what traffic control needs to be in place. Make sure the order of controls is followed.
Ensure workers know the hazards and how to protect themselves through job specific training, education, and supervision
Crews need to know how to identify hazards and assess risks. They also need to know and follow employer policies and procedures to help keep safe. Make sure new employees get an orientation and give veteran crews regular refreshers.
How the Cone Zone campaign helps you
Cone Zone is a provincial initiative is supported by the Work Zone Safety Alliance and managed by Road Safety at Work.