AROUND THE PROVINCES: Traffic Control Person Requirements

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When workers have to do work on or near roads, streets, highways or other areas where there’s vehicular traffic, they’re at risk of being struck by passing motorists. That’s why the OHS laws typically require employers to use designated traffic control persons to alert drivers to the presence of workers and direct them appropriately. Here’s a look at the requirements in the OHS regulations in each jurisdiction for traffic control persons (called flagpersons or signallers in some jurisdictions).

TRAFFIC CONTROL PERSON REQUIREMENTS

FED OHS Regs.
Don’t contain requirements for traffic control persons
AB OHS Code 2009:

1. If traffic on a public highway is dangerous to workers, an employer must
protect them from the traffic using, among other options, designated persons directing traffic [Sec. 194(7)(h)].

2. If a worker is designated by an employer to control traffic, the employer
must ensure that the designated traffic controller wears a highly visible piece of clothing that:

a. clearly identifies the worker as a designated traffic controller; and
b. is retroreflective if the worker is controlling traffic in the dark or visibility is poor [Sec. 194(4)].
3. A worker designated to control traffic must wear a highly visible piece of clothing that complies with the above requirements [Sec. 194(5)].

4. If a worker is designated by an employer to control traffic, the employer must ensure that the designated traffic controller uses a handheld signal light if it’s dark or visibility is poor [Sec. 194(6)].

BC OHS Reg.:

1. The employer must ensure that whenever traffic control is required:

a. any person assigned to be a traffic control person is adequately trained in a manner acceptable to the Board and effectively performs their role in the traffic control arrangements and procedures for the work;

b. a traffic control person is positioned in a safe location clear of potential environmental hazards such as a slide or avalanche; and

c. if two or more traffic control persons are required to work as a team at the worksite, responsibility for coordination of changes in traffic flow is assigned [Sec. 18.4(1)].
2. A traffic control person may be used only:

a. if the use of signs and other traffic control devices and procedures alone can’t provide effective traffic control; or

b. during emergency or brief duration work if it isn’t practicable to control traffic with signs and other devices and procedures [Sec. 18.6(1)].
3. One or more traffic control persons must be used if:

a. it’s necessary to institute a one-way traffic system by or through a work zone and the circumstances don’t allow self-regulating single lane traffic controlled by signs and other devices as specified in the Traffic Control Manual, and a traffic signal system isn’t used;

b. work-related traffic can’t safely self-regulate to move in or out of the work area or safely coordinate with other traffic;

c. an existing traffic control system, or an existing traffic signal light system, isn’t adequate to regulate traffic;

d. the work encroaches into an intersection so as to interfere with regular traffic movement;

e. traffic speed or volume is a hazard to workers while setting up or removing other traffic control devices; or

f. other traffic control devices aren’t available in an emergency situation [Sec. 18.6(2)].

4. The employer must ensure that a traffic control person is on duty at the assigned station whenever a traffic control person is required as part of the traffic control plan for the work [Sec. 18.7]

5. A traffic control person must:

a. stand in a safe position, preferably on the driver’s side of the lane under the person’s control, be clearly visible and have an unobstructed view of approaching traffic; and
b. be positioned at least 25 m (80’) away from the work area unless circumstances or space requirements, such as working at or near an intersection, dictate otherwise [Sec. 18.8].

6. Each traffic control person must be provided with, and must use, all of the following:

a. a traffic control paddle meeting the requirements for a C-27H Traffic Control Paddle as specified in the Traffic Control Manual and, if necessary to control fatigue, a non-conductive support staff for the paddle;

b. high visibility apparel meeting the Type 1 or Type 2 criteria of WCB Standard Personal Protective Equipment Standard 2-1997, High Visibility Garment, or the Class 2 or 3 garment criteria of CSA Standard Z96-02, High-Visibility Safety Apparel, with a fluorescent background colour;

c. wrist and lower leg bands fitted with a minimum 5 cm (2”) wide fluorescent retroreflective strip about their entire circumference, except that wrist and lower leg bands aren’t required for a traffic control person performing this function on an emergency or a temporary basis and not as part of their normal duties;

d. safety headgear of a high visibility colour with a strip of retroreflective tape across the top from front to back and on the sides;

e. an effective means of communication when traffic control persons aren’t visible to each other, which under no circumstances means a system of passing batons or similar items to indicate the last vehicle travelling through the zone under control [Sec. 18.9].

7. During the hours of darkness, or in other conditions of poor visibility, each traffic control person must be provided with and must use, in addition to the above equipment, a flashlight fitted with a red signalling wand. The traffic control person must have immediate access to spare batteries for the flashlight [Sec. 18.10].

8. A traffic control person must make all traffic control directions and signals precisely and deliberately so that the meaning can be clearly understood [Sec. 18.12].

9. If manual signals are used between traffic control persons to initiate changes in the direction of traffic flow, the signals shown in Figure 18-1 must be used [Sec. 18.13].

10. All traffic control directions and signals made by a traffic control person for the purpose of controlling traffic must conform to the requirements of this Regulation and the Traffic Control Manual [Sec. 18.14(1)].

11. A traffic control person must use the normal signals shown in Figure 18-2 when stationed on the driver’s (left) side of the traffic lane under the person’s control [Sec. 18.14(2)].

12. The alternative signals shown in Figure 18-2 must be used only when the traffic control person is stationed on the passenger’s (right) side of the traffic lane under the person’s control [Sec. 18.14(3)].

13. A traffic control person must not use their traffic control paddle to wave traffic on and must never display the paddle to traffic in other than a static manner [Sec. 18.14(4)].

MB Workplace Safety and Health Reg.:

1. If vehicular traffic creates a risk to the safety or health of a worker, an employer must ensure that one or more of the designated measures are used to protect the worker, including one or more workers who are designated and act as flagpersons, in accordance with Sec. 20.6 [Sec. 20.5(2)].

2. No employer shall require or permit a worker to work as a flagperson unless the worker:

a. holds a valid flagperson’s training certificate issued by a person or organization that has been approved by the director under Sec. 20.6.2; and

b. has demonstrated competency in applying the training referred to in Sec. 20.5(1)(b) and Sec. 20.6.2(2) to the employer’s workplace [Sec. 20.6(1)].

3. An employer must ensure that a flagperson:

a. carries his or her flagperson’s training certificate at all times;

b. is provided with:

i. a paddle with reflective surfaces, on one side of which is written “STOP” in white letters on a red background, and on the other side is written “SLOW” in black letters on a fluorescent yellow-green background;

ii. high visibility safety apparel that meets the Class 3 Level 2 requirements of CAN/CSA Z96-02, High Visibility Safety Apparel, and that’s fluorescent yellow-green in colour;

iii. protective headwear of a fluorescent colour, augmented during hours of darkness with a retro-reflective material or combined materials securely attached to the headwear in such a manner as to provide 360o visibility to others; and

iv. a means of communication with any other flagperson at the workplace, when the worker doesn’t have a clear view of that other flagperson; and

c. in the case of a flagperson who works during hours of darkness, a fully operational flashlight fitted with a red signalling wand of sufficient brightness to be clearly visible to approaching traffic [Sec. 20.6(2)].

4. Except for the means of communication mentioned above, an employer must ensure that a flagperson doesn’t use any personal electronic device, including:

a. a portable radio, cassette player, compact disk player or recorder, mp3 player or other digital music recorder and player, that’s worn on the body;

b. a personal digital assistant or other similar handheld device; or

c. a cellular telephone [Sec. 20.6(3)].

5. Sec. 6.7 doesn’t apply to a flagperson, but the high visibility safety apparel, protective headwear and flashlight provided by an employer as mentioned above are PPE and the obligations of the employer and the worker under Secs. 6.3 to 6.5 apply to the apparel, headwear and flashlight [Sec. 20.6(4)].

NB OHS Reg.:

1. Where construction is being carried out in an area where an employee’s safety may be endangered by vehicular traffic, an employer must provide competent signalers to control the flow of traffic [Sec. 91(1)].

2. An employer must provide and all signalers must wear a reflectorized vest or jacket when controlling the flow of traffic [Sec. 91(2)].

3. An employer must provide and all signalers must use reflectorized paddles to control the flow of traffic [Sec. 91(3)].

NL OHS Regs. 2012:

1. A traffic control person must be employed:

a. according to the criteria established by the Department of Transportation and Works “Traffic Control Specification”; or

b. where required by an officer and where one may be necessary under the particular circumstances [Sec. 374(1)].

2. A traffic control person must:

a. stand in a safe position, preferably on the driver’s side of the lane under the traffic control person’s control, be clearly visible and have an unobstructed view of approaching traffic; and

b. be positioned at least 25 metres away from the work area unless circumstances or space requirements, including working at or near an intersection, dictate otherwise [Sec. 374(2)].

3. Where two or more traffic control persons are working as a team, the employer must ensure that one traffic control person is responsible for traffic co-ordination and for the initiation of changes in the direction of traffic flow to create a cycle that results in minimum traffic delay and maximum protection for the workers [Sec. 374(3)].

4. Traffic control persons must perform their duties responsibly and in accordance with the Department of Transportation and Works “Traffic Control Manual” [Sec. 374(4)].

5. A person must not work as a traffic control person after Jan. 1, 2011 unless he or she has completed a traffic control training program prescribed by the commission [Sec. 374(5)].

6. An employer must ensure that where traffic control persons are working as a team, methods of communication are determined and understood by personnel using them before the commencement of the flagging operations [Sec. 375(1)].

NT/NU General Safety Regs.:

1. Effective means of traffic control, including flagpersons, must be provided whenever the unregulated movement of vehicular traffic constitutes a hazard to workers [Sec. 465(1) and (2)].

2. Flagpersons must be employed in the following situations:

a. where traffic is required to pass working vehicles or equipment that may block all or part of a travelled roadway;

b. where it’s necessary to institute a one-way traffic system through a construction area where traffic volumes are heavy or approach speeds are high and a traffic signal system isn’t in use;

c. where construction vehicle traffic can’t be coordinated with the existing traffic system;

d. where an existing signal light system isn’t adequate to regulate traffic;

e. where the work abuts or projects into an intersection so as to interfere with regular traffic movements;

f. where workers or equipment are employed on a travelled roadway over the brow of a hill, around a sharp curve or at any other location where on-coming traffic would not otherwise have adequate warning of their presence;

g. in high speed, high volume areas where temporary protection is required while other traffic control devices are being erected or taken down;

h. for emergency protection when other traffic control devices aren’t readily available; and

i. in every situation where adequate protection for workers, working equipment and traffic isn’t provided for by other traffic control devices [Sec. 470].

3. Flagpersons must be responsible persons who’ve been instructed in and have demonstrated an adequate knowledge of traffic control and flagging procedures [Sec. 471].

4. Flagpersons must not engage in needless conversation or depart from their points of duty until relieved [Sec. 472].

5. Where two or more flagpersons are working as a team, one must be made responsible for traffic coordination and for the initiation of changes in the direction of traffic flow and shall determine the duration of slow in each direction of travel to create a cycle that results in minimum traffic delay and maximum protection of workers [Sec. 473].

6. Where two flagpersons work as a team, the stations of the flagpersons must not be located less than 15.24 m (50’) from the work area except where space requirements dictate otherwise when working at or near an intersection [Sec. 474].

7. Except for brief flagging operations, “Flagpersons Ahead” signs must be posted in advance of each flagperson’s station and such signs must be removed promptly where the flagging operation ends [Sec. 475].

8. A flagperson must be provided with and shall use:

a. a flagperson’s stop and slow paddle;

b. a blaze red or blaze orange flagperson’s vest, poncho or jacket fitted with at least one horizontal white reflectorized stripe that must be worn outside other clothing, or other apparel acceptable to the Chief Safety Officer;

c. safety headgear fitted with strips of white reflectorized tape about the crown; and

d. a means of communication for flagpersons in the same team where two flag stations aren’t intervisible but under no circumstances shall a system of passing batons or tokens be used to signify the last vehicle in a line travelling through a single-lane control zone [Sec. 476].

9. During the hours of darkness or in conditions of poor visibility a flagperson must be provided with and must use:

a. a flagperson’s stop and slow paddle, with both faces reflectorized; and

b. a flashlight fitted with a red signaling baton [Sec. 477].

10. Where flagpersons at opposite ends of a restriction use visual signs between themselves to assign changes in directional traffic flow, the signals must be predetermined and must not be such as to be mistaken for traffic flagging signals [Sec. 478(1)].

11. Secs. 478(2)-(9), 479, 480 and 481 spell out the flagging signals to be used by flagpersons.

12. The flagperson’s paddle must not be used to wave traffic on and must never be displayed to traffic in other than a static manner [Sec. 482(1)].

13. Motions of the flagperson’s arms must be performed precisely and unhurriedly during both day and night so that the meaning or signals given can’t be misunderstood [Sec. 482(2)].

 

*Note: The above reflects the current law at the time of publication. New OHS regulations will take effect in NWT on June 1, 2015 and later in 2015 in NU.

NS Workplace Health and Safety Regs.:

1. When directing traffic at or near the temporary highway workplace, an employee must use a flashlight with a red cone or an equivalent light for use at all of the following times:

a. from a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise; and

b. any time when visibility is so limited, by fog, rain, snow or other atmospheric conditions or by poor lighting, that a person isn’t clearly visible at a distance of 100 m [Sec. 24.5(b)].

ON Construction Projects Reg.:

1. If a worker at a project on a highway may be endangered by vehicular traffic unrelated to the project, in addition to other measures to adequately protect the worker, a worker may be used to direct traffic [Sec. 67(3)].

2. A sign used by a worker to direct vehicular traffic must be:

a. octagonal in shape, measure 450 mm between opposite sides, and be mounted on a pole that’s 1.2 metres long;

b. made of material with at least the rigidity of plywood that is six mm thick;

c. on one side, high-intensity retro-reflective grade red in colour, with the word “STOP” written in legible high-intensity retro-reflective grade white letters 150 mm high in a central position on the sign;

d. on the other side, high retro-reflective micro-prismatic fluorescent chartreuse in colour, with a black diamond-shaped border that is at least 317 mm by 317 mm, and with the word “SLOW” written in legible black letters 120 mm high in a central position on the sign; and

e. maintained in a clean and legible condition [Sec. 68].

3. A worker must not direct vehicular traffic for more than one lane in the same direction [Sec. 69(2)].

4. A worker must not direct vehicular traffic if the normal posted speed limit of the public way is more than 90 km/hour [Sec. 69(3)].

5. A worker who’s required to direct vehicular traffic must:

a. be a competent worker;

b. not perform any other work while directing vehicular traffic;

c. be positioned in such a way that he or she is endangered as little as possible by vehicular traffic; and

d. be given adequate written and oral instructions, in a language that he or she understands, with respect to directing vehicular traffic, and those instructions shall include a description of the signals that are to be used [Sec. 69(4)].

6. The written instructions referred to above must be kept at the project [Sec. 69(5)].

PE OHS Regs.:

1. When construction work is being carried out in areas where worker safety is endangered by vehicle traffic, the employer must provide trained signallers to control the flow of traffic [Sec. 12.12(3)].

2. The employer must provide and all signallers must wear a reflectorized vest or jacket when controlling the flow of traffic. [Sec. 12.12(4)].

3. The employer must provide and all signallers must use reflectorized paddles to control the flow of traffic [Sec. 12.12(5)].

4. The employer must ensure signallers are employed:

a. when construction work is being carried out in areas where employee safety is endangered by vehicle traffic;

b. where the roadway is normally a two-way operation and traffic is restricted to one-way traffic movement; and

c. where any activity or obstruction exists on the shoulder or a portion of the roadway, which doesn’t allow for the following clearances:

i. 3 m per traffic lane for speeds up to 50 km/hr.; and

ii. 3.5 m per traffic lane for speeds over 50 km/hr [Sec. 50.3].

5. The employer must ensure that signalers:

a. are competent persons over the age of 16 who’ve been trained in, and have demonstrated an adequate knowledge of, traffic control and signalling procedures;

b. have such training as the Director may require;

c. have a thorough knowledge of the regulations contained in this Part;

d. are in good physical and mental condition;

e. have adequate eyesight and hearing to carry out their duties; and

f. hold a certificate of training and produce proof of training at the request of an officer [Sec. 50.4].

6. The employer ensure that a signaller is equipped with such protective health and safety equipment and clothing as is required to ensure the health and safety of the signaller at the signaller’s workplace, including any required safety footwear, hard hat, safety vest, eye protection and rain wear [Sec. 50.6].

7. The signaller must wear such protective health and safety equipment and clothing as is required to ensure the health and safety of the signaler at the signaller’s workplace [Sec. 50.7].

8. The employer must ensure that signallers don’t use head set receivers or other devices that may impair sight or hearing while signaling [Sec. 50.8(1)].

9. A signaller must not use head set receivers of other devices that may impair sight or hearing while signaling [Sec. 50.8(2)].

10. The employer must provide signallers with a signaller’s sign, octagonal in shape and mounted on a 1.7 m handle [Sec. 50.9].

11. The employer must, during the hours of darkness provide the signaller with a flashlight fitted with a red signalling baton [Sec. 50.11].

12. The employer must ensure that a signaller is located in a position providing adequate visibility and reaction time for the motorist. The distances are as set out in the included table [Sec. 50.12].

13. The employer must ensure that a signaller stands far enough from the work areas. The required distances are as set out in the included table [Sec. 50.13].

14. The employer must ensure when the end of a one-lane section of roadway isn’t visible from the other end, the signaller must maintain contact by means of radio or additional signalers [Sec. 50.14].

15. Sec. 50.15 spells out the approved methods of signaling.

16. The employer must ensure that signallers don’t depart from their point of duty until relieved [Sec. 50.16].

17. The employer must ensure that “Signaller Ahead” signs are posted in advance of each signaller’s station. Such signs must be removed promptly when the signalling operation terminates [Sec. 50.17].

QC Safety Code for the Construction Industry:

Where traffic must be directed by a flagman, the employer must ensure that the flagman is vigilant and familiar with all the responsibilities that his job entails [Sec. 10.3.2].

SK OHS Regs.:

1. Where there’s a danger to a worker from vehicular traffic on a public highway, an employer or contractor must develop and implement a traffic control plan, in writing, to protect the worker from traffic hazards by the use of one or more of the following, including designated signallers directing traffic [Sec. 133(2)(h)].

2. An employer or contractor must use designated signallers to control traffic on a public highway only where other methods of traffic control aren’t adequate or suitable [Sec. 133(4)].

3. Where designated signallers are used to control traffic on a public highway, an employer or contractor must provide:

a. at least one designated signaller if:

i. traffic approaches from one direction only; or

ii. traffic approaches from both directions and the designated signaller and the operator of an approaching vehicle would be clearly visible to one another; and

b. at least two designated signallers if traffic approaches from both directions and the designated signaller and the operator of an approaching vehicle wouldn’t be clearly visible to one another [Sec. 133(5)].

4. Where the giving of signals by a designated signaller is required by these regulations, an employer or contractor must:

a. designate a worker to be the designated signaller;

b. ensure that the designated signaller is sufficiently trained to carry out the signaller’s duties in a manner that will ensure the signaller’s safety and the safety of other workers; and

c. keep a record of the required training and give a copy of the record to the designated signaler [Sec. 132(1)].
5. An employer or contractor must:

a. provide each designated signaller with, and require the signaller to use, a high visibility vest, armlets or other high visibility clothing, whether the signaller is on a public highway or is at any other place of employment; and

b. provide each designated signaller with a suitable light to signal with during hours of darkness and in conditions of poor visibility [Sec. 132(2)].

6. An employer or contractor must:

a. install suitably placed signs to warn traffic of the presence of a designated signaller before the signaller begins work; and

b. where reasonably practicable, install suitable overhead lights to illuminate

a designated signaller effectively [Sec. 132(3)].

7. A designated signaller must ensure that it’s safe to proceed with a movement before signalling for that movement to proceed [Sec. 132(4)].

8. Where the giving of signals by a designated signaller is required by these regulations, an employer or contractor must ensure that:

a. no worker other than the designated signaller gives signals to an operator except in an emergency; and

b. only one designated signaller gives signals to an operator at a time [Sec. 132(5)].

9. Where hand signals can’t be transmitted properly between a designated signaller and an operator, an employer or contractor must ensure that additional designated signallers are available to effect proper transmission of signals or that some other means of communication is provided [Sec. 132(6)].

10. Where two or more designated signallers are used, an employer or contractor must ensure that the designated signallers are able to communicate effectively with each other [Sec. 132(7)].

YT OHS Reg.:

1. Where a worker may be endangered by vehicular traffic on a project on a public way, or on a public way on a project, workers must be protected by such of the designated measures as are necessary, including workers directing traffic [Sec. 1.47(1)(a)].

2. Workers who are required to direct traffic must be given written and verbal instructions setting out the signals they’re to use and the instructions they’re to provide motorists [Sec. 1.47(2)].

3. Workers required to direct traffic during hours of darkness must be provided with lighting systems to illuminate the entire traffic control workstation, and additional retro-reflective devices such as wristbands and leg bands [Sec. 1.47(3)].

4. Workers must be provided with, and be required to wear, high visibility safety headwear and high visibility apparel when they’re directing traffic on a public way [Sec. 1.48(1)(b)].