Over the past decade an average of 24 workers per year were struck by motor vehicles while they worked on or beside the road in British Columbia.
Between 2004 and 2013, 40 truck drivers in British Columbia were seriously injured by a passing vehicle while changing tires, putting on tire chains, or doing other vehicle maintenance tasks.
And it's not just truck drivers getting hurt; other workers at serious risk of injury from passing cars include emergency response personnel, municipal workers and landscapers.
In that same period, 239 roadside vehicle incidents involving workers were reported to WorkSafeBC — 15 of these workers died.
As summer approaches and roadside work increases, there will be more than 25,000 British Columbians working in "cone zones.”
These roadside work areas whether large or small, are only separated from passing traffic by orange cones and other delineators in order to keep both the workers and drivers safe from injury.
Workers report that speeding and driver distraction, primarily cellphone use, are the most common dangerous driving behaviours that they witness, said WorkSafeBC.
"Workplace safety is of paramount importance. Increasingly we see evidence of distracted drivers, and we need to remember that for many people, the workplace includes being on the road. We need people to respect these cone zones,” said Shirley Bond, minister responsible for labour. “Regardless of where you work — in an office, at a warehouse, or behind the wheel — everyone wants to get home safely at the end of the day."
WorkSafeBC has partnered with several organizations across the country to launch the Cone Zone campaign to alert the public of ways to keep roadside workers safe. Tips include slowing down, paying attention while driving, giving roadside workers space and allowing more time for the daily commute.