Safety concerns for roadside workers over winter months

Drivers are reminded to be extra vigilant and slow down as we enter into the months when visibility is more compromised.

Drivers are reminded to be extra vigilant and slow down as we enter into the months when visibility is more compromised.

WorkSafeBC data show that the number of workers who experienced a lost-time injury after being struck on the road or roadside is highest during the wetter, darker fall and winter months.

Fifteen workers were killed and another 280 missed time from work for the 10-year period from 2006 to 2015 as a result of being struck by a motor vehicle on a public road in the course of their work.

Of those workers, 146 were injured during the fall and winter months, versus 134 during the spring and summer.

“Workers who must perform their duties near traffic face the risk of being struck year-round, but especially when drivers may find it more difficult to see them,” says Mark Ordeman, WorkSafeBC industry and labour services manager.

“We ask all drivers to keep that in mind and slow down — especially as weather conditions can change quickly and deteriorate — so that all workers can return home safe each night.”

Many different types of workers perform their duties in proximity to traffic, including:

  • Construction workers
  • Transit operators
  • Transport truck drivers
  • Delivery and courier service drivers
  • Letter carriers
  • Telecommunications installation and repair workers
  • Firefighters
  • Public works maintenance equipment operators

WorkSafeBC offers information on its website for workers performing duties in and around traffic. This includes links to a Road Safety at Work toolkit with tools and resources for employers, supervisors, and workers to help keep workers safe when working in and around traffic.