Work zones can be danger zones. Statistics from the Transportation Association of Canada clearly prove that point.
In Quebec from 2010 and 2012, work zone collisions made up 3.1% of all collisions and 27 fatal collisions. In Saskatchewan, between 2008 and 2012, nearly 0.4% of all collisions were work zone collisions with four fatal collisions.
The numbers were similar in Alberta between 2008 and 2012, with 0.7% of all collisions represented by work zone collisions, and 15 fatal collisions.
To keep those numbers down, many safety steps need to be put in place to keep workers and motorists safe.
Wearing proper PPE (personal protective equipment) is one way in which workers can protect themselves in highway work zones. Workers should wear high-visibility clothing, such as arm bands, hats and vests. They should also avoid wearing colors that make them blend into their environment (such as foliage).
Fluorescent clothing made with retro-reflective material should be worn in sites with poor lighting conditions.
The possibility of workers being struck by construction vehicles is always a main concern in a work zone. To help reduce such incidents, an internal traffic control plan (ITCP) should be put in place. The purpose of an ITCP is to effectively coordinate the flow of construction vehicles, equipment and workers near and in a work zone to keep those workers safe.
Workers should be trained in the implementation of the ITCP for each project and a trained ITCP coordinator at each job site can respond immediately to hazards at the site.
All workers, drivers and visitors to a work zone should have a copy of the ITCP and safety guidelines upon entering a work zone.