Thursday August 3, 2011

On The Road

Adapting Good Driving Habits

386 workers injured in Cone Zones over last decade

Released by Lennae Durant, BCAA TSF


oadside workers are looking for a little respect from drivers - respect that may save their lives.

"One second of inattention or a moment of impatience by a driver can have tragic results," said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Blair Lekstrom. "The men and women who work at these sites have family and friends who want to see them return home safely from their job. We all must respect their right to work in a safe environment and do our part to ensure that happens."

WorkSafeBC reports that over the past ten years 386 roadside workers were injured by motor vehicles - typically while working in Cone Zones. Nearly half of those injuries were serious and three percent resulted in fatalities.

"Respect means paying close attention to someone else's needs, in this case the safety of roadside workers," says Donna Wilson, WorkSafeBC Vice-President of Industry Services and Sustainability. "Too often drivers aren't paying attention, resulting in serious injuries to roadside workers."

The Work Zone Safety Alliance, a collection of organizations committed to improving the safety of roadside workers, launched the "Cone Zone" campaign at the start of the summer. The campaign is a road safety initiative that encourages drivers to take care when driving near roadside workers. That means slow down, pay attention and be respectful.

Every worksite is different, ranging from the rebuilding of a bridge -such as the Port Mann project- to tree trimming and pothole repair. Traffic flow and accommodating drivers is a primary consideration when determining how to safely set up a roadside worksite.

Allan Lamb, executive director of the BCAA Road Safety Foundation says, regardless of the worksite, respect is key to everyone's safety.

"The workers are not there to get in drivers' way," says Lamb. "The work that they are doing actually enhances our safety, whether they are repairing our roads, trimming branches from trees, or saving lives at a crash scene."

To avoid the frustration that often comes with driving through Cone Zones drivers are advised to plan their routes and allow extra travel time; slow down even if they don't see anyone working; leave plenty of space between their vehicle and the one in front of them; be patient and make eye contact with the flag person.

For more information about roadside worker safety, visit or

About the Work Zone Safety Alliance
The Work Zone Safety Alliance is a group of organizations committed to improving the safety of roadside workers. They are the BCAA Road Safety Foundation, BC Ambulance Service, BC Construction Safety Alliance, BC Flagging Association, BC Hydro, BC Landscape and Nursery Association, BC Municipal Safety Association, B.C. Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association, FortisBC, IBEW258, ICBC, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Telus, The Community Against Preventable Injuries, Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, Lower Mainland police, and WorkSafeBC.



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