Preventing Construction Traffic Hazards
As part of the Safe At Work Ontario strategy, the government is increasing inspections of construction sites using vehicles and large pieces of mobile equipment.
During the month of June, inspectors will check for health and safety hazards at the following construction projects:
- Road work projects where construction workers can be exposed to transport trucks, vehicles operated by workers and the public as well as mobile equipment such as graders, asphalt pavers, roller compactors, dragline excavators and backhoe loaders.
- Construction sites where construction workers can be exposed to workers' own vehicles as well as mobile equipment such as dump trucks, loaders, concrete pump trucks, bulldozers, mobile cranes, backhoes, compact excavators and lift trucks.
Between 2009 and 2011, four workers died and 15 workers were seriously injured while trying to control traffic at road work projects, according to Ministry of Labour statistics.
Workers can be at risk due to:
- lack of a traffic protection plan
- lack of a traffic signaller and/or traffic control worker
- inadequately trained signaller
- improper use of traffic control devices
- inconsistent traffic controls in work zones
- an obstructed view by an equipment operator
- permitting vehicles to operate in reverse when there are other practical alternatives to doing so
- lack of conspicuous warning signs in areas where vehicles may be driven in reverse
- lack of high visibility clothing or wearing clothing that is worn out
ONTARIO'S CONSTRUCTION TRAFFIC SAFETY BLITZ
Inspectors will focus on hazards that could result in injuries and death. In particular, they will focus on constructions projects:
- identified as being high-priority due to potential hazards involving vehicle traffic and large mobile equipment
- where complaints have been received, and
- where there is a poor compliance history.
Inspectors will take enforcement action, as appropriate, for any contraventions found under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations.
Inspectors will focus on the following key priorities:
- Traffic Protection Plans: Inspectors will check that a traffic protection plan is developed and kept at the construction site or road work project. Inspectors will also confirm that workers exposed to traffic hazards are trained on how to carry out the plan. In particular, they will check that traffic control measures are used as required by the Construction Projects Regulation (O. Reg. 213/91).
- Traffic Control Devices: Inspectors will check that traffic control devices, such as signs, cones and barricades, are in good condition and placed correctly to maximize safety.
- Signallers and Traffic Control Persons: Inspectors will verify that workers, who must direct vehicle traffic, were given adequate written and oral instruction. Inspectors will also check that signallers and traffic control persons do not perform any other work when directing traffic.
- High Visibility Clothing: Inspectors will check that high visibility clothing is worn by signallers, traffic control persons and workers who may be endangered by vehicle traffic at construction sites and road work projects.