BC Cone Zone Campaign sets out to remind Kitimat drivers, employees, and workers to slow down when approaching workers in cone zones.
Set up by roadside workers, cone zones protect road maintenance crews, tow truck operators, first responders, municipal workers, traffic control persons, construction crews, other roadside workers, and the driving public.
“It’s important that workers are safe on the job, and in fact, it’s their lawful right. In addition to the hazards of roadwork, flaggers and other people who work in Cone Zones face additional risks from passing vehicles. I ask all drivers to do their part and slow down so these workers remain safe and return home healthy at the end of their shifts,” Harry Bains, minister of labour said.
Now in its 11th year, the BC Cone Zone Campaign aims to reduce the number of deaths and injuries to roadside workers by increasing awareness of the vulnerability of these workers.
The campaign also encourages drivers to practise safe driving behaviour in the cone zone and reminds drivers to slow down when approaching a cone zone and to pay attention to instructions from traffic control persons, temporary road signs, and traffic control devices.
Under the ‘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 tow truck, fire truck, police vehicle, or ambulance vehicle with flashing amber, red, or blue lights.
With traffic levels and roadside work increasing in the summer months, the risk to roadside workers becomes more prevalent.
Between 2011 and 2020, 12 roadside workers were killed on the job and 207 were injured in B.C., and last year, 23 workers were injured because of being hit by a motor vehicle.
“Roadside work is a dangerous job—and spring and summer are the busiest times of the year for these workers. Drivers must remember to reduce their speed, pay attention, and be respectful of the roadside workers and their workplace, so these women and men can go home safely to their families at the end of the day,” Al Johnson, head of prevention services at WorkSafeBC said.
Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their workers and contractors along BC/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.
For more information on the 2021 Cone Zone Campaign, visit conezonebc.com