The risk associated with road construction works has once again come under the spotlight following an accident which claimed the life of a construction worker on a Canadian Highway.
The worker was a member of a Department of Transport and Works paint crew who were engaging in work on the Trans-Canada Highway early in the day when the traffic accident occurred, on Tuesday July 23rd.
It is believed the man was standing on the roadway when he was hit by a utility van which then smashed into the back of a Department of Transportation and Works sign truck also stopped on the highway.
According to a member of the police, Constable Matt Christie, this is what happened (as reported on DailyBusinessBuzz.ca):
Const. Matt Christie said the man was standing on the roadway when he was hit by a pickup truck, which then proceeded to smash into the back of a Department of Transportation and Works sign truck stopped on the highway.
Christie said the paint crew was setting up for work and had all its signage out. Christie said the caution arrow indicator in the back of the pickup that was struck was activated at the time of the accident.
Three other people were taken to hospital with unknown injuries Tuesday afternoon, including two people who were in the private pickup and a Department of Transportation and Works employee who was sitting in the government truck at the time of the accident.
Christie said the injuries of the three were not believed to be life-threatening.
The two pickups were damaged to the extent that they ended up locked together, with personnel from Eddy’s Services having to spend some time at pulling the two vehicles apart.
The accident caused huge delays on the roadway, resulting in traffic being backed up for kilometres in both directions. Police confirmed that alcohol was not believed to have been a factor in the accident but this incident does highlight the importance of ensuring that drivers are aware of the presence of road construction zones well in advance so that they can reduce speed ahead of time and be on the look-out for any pedestrians, machinery or construction vehicles – stationery or in motion.
It also highlights the importance of ensuring that construction workers are properly trained for the type of construction they will be undertaking and familiarised with the hazards that will confront them. For example workers involved in work on road construction zones need to be properly trained on the hazards presented by work on the site and supervise accordingly. One of the most important aspects to consider is the need to keep pedestrians and vehicles separate using demarcated barriers and fencing if necessary. Road construction workers should never step out into the route of traffic while engaging in work on the road construction site unless the traffic is being controlled and it is safe to do so.