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Time to act on holiday traffic risks for workers

As the holidays quickly approach, those in control of road worksites must ensure they have plans in place to protect traffic control workers from impatient drivers and heavy holiday traffic.

Traffic control workers on a number of massive road construction programs under way in Queensland are at a greater risk than normal as holiday makers scurry to escape on their vacations. Each year about 100 traffic controllers receive a work-related injury requiring medical treatment or time off work, and tragically there is at least one fatality.

Principal contractors performing construction work on roads must prepare a written WHS management plan before work on the project starts and ensure that everyone who is to work on the project knows about that plan. They need to keep a copy of the WHS plan for the project in accordance with WHS guidelines and take all reasonable steps to obtain a copy of the safe work method statement relating to high risk construction work before it starts.

Preparing a traffic management plan or traffic guidance scheme should be part of the WHS management plan. A PCBU for high risk construction work must ensure a safe work method statement is prepared for the work and must identify work that is high risk, describing the measures to be implemented to control the risks, as well as how the measures will be monitored and reviewed.

As traffic controllers are performing high risk construction work, a safe work method statement must also be prepared for that work.

Risk management involves the identification and analysis of all hazards likely to arise during work on roads, including the setting up, operating, changing and ultimate dismantling of a traffic guidance scheme, followed by the determination of appropriate measures to manage exposure to the risks.

The process is appropriate at all levels of planning and operation, including when preparing standardised plans and procedures for the conduct of minor routine and mobile work, and traffic guidance schemes for more extensive or complex work, where site-specific risks will assume importance.

Further information

Download the Traffic management for construction or maintenance work Code of practice at worksafe.qld.gov.au (PDF, 0.8 MB).