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Slow down through roadworks over the holidays

Predicted wet weather and heavy traffic due to the summer holiday rush has prompted a call for calm to keep traffic controllers safe these holidays.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace is urging drivers to plan ahead and leave plenty of time to get to their holiday vacation spots, and most importantly, to obey signs, slow down and pay attention to traffic controllers at roadworks.

“The holiday rush and highway log jams mean traffic controllers are at a much greater risk than normal. Tragically, at least one traffic controller is killed every year, while around 100 are injured and need medical treatment or time off work,” Ms Grace said.

“I know it is an exciting time of year and we all want to get home or get away and see family and loved ones over the holidays,” Ms Grace said.

“But please be mindful of our traffic controllers who are still working, doing their best to help everyone get to their destination as quickly and as safely as possible. Slow down, pay attention to signs and follow the instructions you are given.

Ms Grace said principal contractors doing construction work on roads must prepare a written work health and safety management plan before starting the project, and every person working on the project must be familiar with the plan.

“Road construction businesses must have plans in place to protect traffic controllers from fatigued or distracted drivers and heavy holiday traffic,” Ms Grace said.

“A traffic management plan or traffic guidance scheme should be part of the safety management plan.

“If you’re in charge of high-risk construction work, you must prepare a safe work method statement which includes measures to control risk, and how these measures will be monitored and reviewed.

“Traffic controllers perform high risk construction work, so a safe work method statement must be prepared.”

The Traffic management for construction or maintenance work code of practice (PDF, 0.8 MB) for managing risks at roadworks includes 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. This process applies to all roadworks, regardless of size or complexity.

“Remember—plan ahead, leave plenty of time to get where you want to, and show some consideration for those still working on or around our roads. That way we all can have a great and safe holiday break,” Ms Grace said.