The 12th annual B.C. Cone Zone campaign launched on May 16 and aims to prevent injuries and deaths of roadside workers through awareness.
Spring and summer are busy times for construction and other road-related activities. Most commonly here in Kitimat the Haisla Bridge construction is ongoing and sees workers out at nearly all times of the day working on the sides of the road.
According to WorkSafeBC stats, two roadside workers in the province were killed last year and 31 were injured and had to miss work after being hit by a vehicle. Over the past decade, 12 workers lost their lives and 221 missed time from work due to injury.
“That’s 233 people – mothers, fathers, friends, work colleagues, and neighbours,” says Trace Acres, Road Safety at Work program director and spokesperson for the Cone Zone campaign. “Every roadside worker in Kitimat and the rest of the Kitimat-Stikine region deserves to make it home to their family at the end of their shift without injury.”
Acres says the aim of the campaign is to bring awareness to the dangers roadside workers face. Citing dangerous behaviours like speeding and distracted driving as putting workers at risk.
Drivers are reminded to slow down when entering a Cone Zone and pay attention, as well as follow instructions from traffic controllers and obey any temporary signage. The Cone Zone campaign is also raising awareness for the part that employers have to play in keeping employees safe.
Employers need to ensure a safe workplace for their workers by providing specific training, education and supervision. Workers also need to know how to identify hazards and assess risks. More information can be found at ConeZoneBC.com.