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Traffic controllers need protection during Christmas rush

As holiday makers prepare to hit the road during the Christmas and New Year break, construction workplaces must ensure they have plans in place to protect traffic control workers from fatigued drivers and heavy holiday traffic.

Impatient drivers, fatigue and rushing sees about 100 traffic controllers each year receive a work-related injury requiring medical treatment or time off work. Tragically there is at least one death.

Principal contractors performing construction work on roads or road-related areas must prepare a written WHS management plan before work on the project starts. Each person who is to work on the project must be informed about the WHS management plan.

Preparing a traffic management plan or traffic guidance scheme should form part of or be attached to 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 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. This should be 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.

More information

Read more in the Traffic management for construction or maintenance work code of practice 2008 (PDF, 0.8 MB).