Keep the festive season rush away from our traffic controllers

Tuesday, 22 December, 2020

Keep the festive season rush away from our traffic controllers

The Queensland Government is urging drivers to observe designated speed limits through roadworks, and road construction businesses to protect traffic controllers from fatigued or distracted drivers and heavy holiday traffic. “In a festive state of mind, people are rushing and not concentrating on the road as much as they usually would,” Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Head Craig Allen said. “Whether it’s to get home, get away or just get things done, people are more pushed for time and in a hurry.” Allen said this tension and the extra cars on the road mean that traffic control workers are at much greater risk than normal. “Tragically, this leads to at least one traffic controller’s death every year, while around 100 are injured and need medical treatment or time off work,” Allen said.

Principal contractors doing construction work on roads must prepare a written work health and safety management plan before starting the project, with all workers on the project informed about the plan. Allen also said a traffic management plan or traffic guidance scheme should be part of the safety management plan. “If you’re in charge of high-risk construction work, you must prepare a safe work method statement which includes measures to control risk, and how these measures will be monitored and reviewed,” Allen said. “Traffic controllers perform high-risk construction work, so a safe work method statement must be prepared.”

In line with the Traffic management for construction or maintenance work code of practice, managing risks at roadworks includes setting up, operating, changing and dismantling a traffic guidance scheme, followed by the determination of appropriate measures to manage exposure to the risks. This process applies to all roadworks, regardless of size or complexity. “We all look forward to spending time with family and friends during the holidays, so it’s easy to get frustrated if we get stuck in traffic. But please spare a thought for those people helping us to get through the busy traffic as smoothly as possible. They are still at work and they have families to go home to as well,” Allen said, urging drivers to be sensible, slow down and observe traffic rules and the directions given by traffic controllers this holiday season.

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