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Watch wet roads and give traffic controllers a break these holidays

A reminder for motorists to take it easy on the road and for workplaces to look after employees engaged in traffic control as eastern Australia prepares for predicted widespread flooding from cyclones.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has urged drivers to plan ahead and leave plenty of time to travel to and from their holiday vacation spots and reminded employers of their duty to look after traffic controllers. Being late isn’t a tragedy, but the loss of a life on our roads is.

Ms Grace said even more flooded roads and heavy traffic, as well as the seasonal rush to make it somewhere at Christmas, could be a recipe for disaster if everyone does not observe a few simple and practical road rules.

The holiday rush and heavy traffic means traffic control workers are at a much greater risk than during the rest of the year.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland statistics have shown there has been at least one traffic controller death every year, while approximately 100 are injured and need medical treatment or time off work.

Traffic controllers are trying to help everyone get to their destination as quickly and as safely as possible, and that’s why workplaces need to protect their workers by having the appropriate safety measures in place.

Drivers need to observe designated speed limits when travelling through active roadworks, and road construction businesses must have plans in place to protect traffic controllers from fatigue and any danger posed from distracted drivers.

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 informed about the plan.

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 do perform high risk construction work, so a safe work method statement must be prepared.

More information

The Traffic management for construction or maintenance work code of practice (PDF, 0.8 MB) has been designed to manage risks at roadworks and 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.