The BC Cone Zone campaign, now in its 11th year, sets out to remind drivers, employers, and workers to do their part to prevent injuries and deaths of roadside workers in Prince George and other communities in the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George.
Roadside work is a dangerous job. Between 2011 and 2020, 12 roadside workers were killed and 207 were injured in B.C. Last year, 23 workers were injured because of being hit by a motor vehicle.
The risks to roadside workers are more prevalent in the summer months as roadside work increases at this time of year and traffic levels typically rise.
The campaign 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.
In addition, 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 vehicle with flashing amber, red, or blue lights (tow, fire, police, ambulance).
Cone Zones are work areas set up by roadside workers to protect themselves and the driving public. Road-maintenance crews, tow truck operators, first responders, municipal workers, traffic control persons, construction crews, and other roadside workers all depend on drivers to respect the Cone Zone to keep their workplaces safe.
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.
Roadside workers can work safely by:
- Knowing how to identify hazards and assess risks.
- Following safe work procedures, including work zone set-up and take-down.
- Wearing appropriate high-visibility clothing and other PPE.
- Reporting unsafe work conditions to their supervisor.