Flagger injury underscores need for driver caution in construction zones
The second serious injury to a construction crew flagger in as many months has renewed concern about public awareness of and respect for the risks of driving near or in road construction zones. Last week, a flagger hit by a motorist near Sturgeon and Murray Park roads was upgraded to stable from critical condition in hospital.
“This was a really serious incident,” MHCA President Chris Lorenc said. Lorenc noted that it was the second grave injury to a flagger this season; in August, a flagger was hit by a car after halting traffic at another road construction site.
“These injuries, these extraordinary risks to our workers, are entirely avoidable. The driving public has to be aware of road construction zones, heed the signs that warn of the need for caution and when they encounter flaggers signaling them, obey those directions.”
The MHCA is a founding member of Manitoba’s Safe Roads Committee which brings together public and private bodies involved in road safety and construction. Each year, Safe Roads launches a public awareness campaign to publicize the need for safety and caution near construction and road maintenance crews.
To assist the association in preparing for coming committee discussions, the MHCA is asking members to send it information on their experience with injuries to workers, equipment damage and near misses as a result of motorist behavior.
“We’re asking our members to send information they may have collected on collisions or near misses, and the impact to their crews or equipment,” MHCA WORKSAFELY Director Don Hurst said. “We are wondering if there are trends, but more so we are hoping that on-site experiences can inform the work of the committee to make roadside heavy construction sites safer.”