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Whether on a public road or worksite, safety must be the prime consideration. Under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996 it is mandatory to protect traffic control workers and all workers on the worksite from traffic hazards. Protection and control measures, personal protective clothing and equipment, as well as all procedures or devices that guard against the dangers of working around vehicular traffic all help to keep workers and worksites safe.

Traffic control workers have the right to know what the hazards of the job are. Before starting the job, conduct a hazard identification exercise. Items to look for would include, but not be limited to:

  • Traffic volume
  • Speed limits
  • Sight distances
  • Work process
  • The presence of pedestrian traffic
  • The tools and equipment including the signs
  • Communications
  • Proximity to other workers (working alone)
  • Road surface
  • Environmental conditions
  • Proximity of heavy equipment
  • Noise
  • Training competencies for traffic control persons

The position of a traffic control person can be hazardous. To reduce the risks, the traffic control person must be in good physical shape with good vision and hearing. They need to be alert and aware of everything that is going on around them.

Traffic control plan

Employers or contractors must develop a traffic control plan protecting workers from potential hazards caused by vehicular traffic on a public highway or on construction sites by the use of appropriate means. Traffic control plans must be in writing and readily available for workers to reference at the worksite. Designated signallers directing traffic may be a part of any traffic control plan as well as other various tools, procedures and techniques used to promote safe work on construction sites and public highways.

Traffic plans must also specify:

  • the maximum allowable speed of any vehicle or class of vehicles, including powered mobile equipment,
  • the maximum operating grades,
  • the location and type of control signs,
  • the route to be taken by vehicles or powered mobile equipment,
  • the priorities for the various classes of vehicles likely to be used,
  • the location and type of barriers or restricted areas, and
  • the duties of the workers and the employer or contractor.

Designated Signallers

When a designated signaller is required by these regulations, employers must make sure they assign a worker who has been trained and is skilled enough to maintain their own safety and those of other workers.

Employers or contractors must keep a record of each signaller’s training and provide copies to the designated signallers for their own personal records. Except in emergencies, only designated signallers are allowed to signal traffic on a worksite.
Designated signallers should only be used on public highways when other methods of traffic control are not adequate or suitable to ensure everyone’s safety.
When controlling traffic on public highway at least one designated signaller is needed if:

  • traffic is approaching from only one direction; or
  • traffic is approaching from both directions but the designated signaller and vehicles operators can clearly see one another.

Whatever the place of employment, if drivers of a vehicle or powered mobile equipment cannot clearly see the planned route, they must wait until signalled that it is safe to proceed by a person who does have a clear view of the route.
Designated signallers are responsible for making sure that any directions they give are safe and appropriate.

Employer and Contractor Responsibilities

Employers and contractors must:

  • Make sure a designated signaller is available and working when the legislation requires it;
  • Provide designated signallers with the safety equipment and communication tools necessary to perform their job. Equipment needs may vary depending on the situation;
  • Provide each designated signaller with a suitable light to signal with during hours of darkness and in conditions of poor visibility;
  • Install signs alerting those on the worksite that a designated signaller is nearby and that all traffic must pay attention to the signaller’s directions;
  • Install suitable overhead lights to illuminate a designated signaller where reasonably practicable;
  • Assign additional designated signallers when hand signals are not enough to direct workers and those operating vehicles on the worksite;
  • Ensure that signallers are able to communicate effectively with each other when they are working together. In such situations, signallers may use a variety of tools and techniques to coordinate among themselves to direct others safely;
  • Provide all necessary personal protective equipment including high visibility clothing;
  • Ensure workers wear the relevant personal protective equipment and clothing that has been provided whether they are working on a public highway, construction worksite, or another location;
  • Train workers in the established traffic control plan;
  • Ensure vehicles have backup alarms that operate automatically when moving in reverse;
  • Not require or permit a worker to be raised or lowered by any aerial device or elevating work platform or to work from a device or platform held in an elevated position unless road traffic conditions, environmental conditions, and other obstructions do not create a danger to the worker;

What equipment could a traffic control person need?

  • a fluorescent red/orange hardhat,
  • high visibility vests with reflective strips both front and back, armlets or other high visibility clothing,
  • a suitable signal light,
  • automated backup alarms for all vehicles,
  • warning signs,
  • air horn or other warning device,
  • barriers,
  • lane control devices,
  • flares,
  • appropriate protective foot wear,
  • a 45-cm stop/slow paddle which should be equipped with a 1.6-m pole,
  • two flag person signs (Additional signage may be required depending on the circumstances.),
  • white coveralls or uniform,
  • a log book and pen,
  • flashlight with a semi-transparent or fluorescent orange wand,
  • personal protective supplies such as insect repellant, sun screen,
  • communication devices,
  • rain gear,
  • conspicuously identified pilot vehicles,
  • automatic or remote-controlled traffic control systems, and
  • any equipment required for signalling in the particular circumstances that arise on worksite. Equipment needs may vary and could be anything from warning signs to electronic communication equipment.

Application and Conflicts
There are many other laws and regulations dealing with vehicle and road safety. When guidance or requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations conflicts with the Highway Traffic Act, The Highways and Transportation Act, The Vehicle Administration Act, a regulation made pursuant to any of those Acts or a bylaw of a municipality the requirements or guidance of the of the other statute, regulation or bylaw take precedence and must be followed instead.

Traffic control responsibilities for Mining Operations

As an employer or contractor, you must:

  • Make sure that a written procedure developed for blasting operation includes controlling traffic on roads at the open pit mine site;
  • Develop and implement a written traffic warning plan that deals with the procedures to be used by workers to control and warn traffic approaching the danger area;
  • Develop and implement a written traffic control plan to protect the worker from traffic hazards, train the workers of traffic control plan developed and make it readily available for reference by workers; and

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996
S.S., c. O-1.1, Reg 1

Part IX Safeguards, Storage, Warning Signs and Signals

Section 132 Designated signallers

132. (1) Where the giving of signals by a designated signaller is required by these regulations, an employer or contractor shall:

(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 training required by clause (b) and give a copy of the record to the designated signaller.

(2) An employer or contractor shall:

(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.

(3) An employer or contractor shall:

(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.

(4) A designated signaller shall ensure that it is safe to proceed with a movement before signalling for that movement to proceed.

(5) Where the giving of signals by a designated signaller is required by these regulations, an employer or contractor shall 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.

(6) Where hand signals cannot be transmitted properly between a designated signaller and an operator, an employer or contractor shall ensure that additional designated signallers are available to effect proper transmission of signals or that some other means of communication is provided.

(7) Where two or more designated signallers are used, an employer or contractor shall ensure that the designated signallers are able to communicate effectively with each other.

Section 133 Risk from vehicular traffic

133. (1) An employer or contractor shall ensure that a worker who is at risk from vehicular traffic, whether on a public highway or at any other place of employment, is provided with and required to use a high visibility vest, armlets or other high visibility clothing.

(2) Where there is a danger to a worker from vehicular traffic on a public highway, an employer or contractor shall 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:

(a) warning signs;

(b) barriers;

(c) lane control devices;

(d) flashing lights;

(e) flares;

(f) conspicuously identified pilot vehicles;

(g) automatic or remote-controlled traffic control systems;

(h) designated signallers directing traffic.

(3) An employer or contractor shall ensure that:

(a) workers are trained in the traffic control plan developed pursuant to subsection (2); and

(b) the traffic control plan developed pursuant to subsection (2) is made readily available for reference by workers at the place of employment.

(4) An employer or contractor shall use designated signallers to control traffic on a public highway only where other methods of traffic control are not adequate or suitable.

(5) Where designated signallers are used to control traffic on a public highway, an employer or contractor shall 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 would not be clearly visible to one another.

(6) Where there is or may be a hazard to a worker from traffic at a place of employment other than a public highway, an employer or contractor shall develop and implement a traffic control plan to protect the worker from traffic hazards.

(7) A traffic control plan required by subsection (6) must:

(a) be in writing;

(b) be made readily available for reference by workers at the place of employment; and

(c) set out, where appropriate:

(i) the maximum allowable speed of any vehicle or class of vehicles, including powered mobile equipment, in use at the place of employment;

(ii) the maximum operating grades;

(iii) the location and type of control signs;

(iv) the route to be taken by vehicles or powered mobile equipment;

(v) the priority to be established for classes of vehicle;

(vi) the location and type of barriers or restricted areas; and

(vii) the duties of workers and the employer or contractor.

(8) A worker who operates a vehicle or unit of powered mobile equipment at a place of employment and who does not have a clear view of the path to be travelled shall not proceed until a person who has a clear view of the path to be travelled by the vehicle or unit of powered mobile equipment signals to the worker that it is safe to proceed.

(9) Where a provision of this section conflicts with a provision of The Highway Traffic Act, The Highways and Transportation Act, The Vehicle Administration Act, a regulation made pursuant to any of those Acts or a bylaw of a municipality made pursuant to The Urban Municipality Act, 1984, The Rural Municipality Act, 1989 or The Northern Municipalities Act, the provision of the other statute, regulation or bylaw prevails.

(10) Nothing in this section applies to a peace officer in the performance of the peace officer's duties.

Part XI Powered Mobile Equipment

Section 160 Warning of reverse motion

160. An employer, contractor or supplier shall ensure that a motor vehicle or unit of powered mobile equipment that may be used in such a way that a worker other than the operator may be placed at risk by an unexpected reverse movement is equipped with a suitable warning device that operates automatically when the vehicle or equipment starts to move in reverse.

Part XII Scaffolds, Aerial Devices, Elevating Work Platforms and Temporary Supporting Structures

Section 192 Aerial devices and elevating work platforms

192. (1) An employer or contractor shall ensure that:

(a) an aerial device, elevating work platform or personnel lifting unit is designed, constructed, erected, operated and maintained in accordance with an approved standard; or

(b) a professional engineer has certified that:

(i) an aerial device, elevating work platform or personnel lifting unit and its elevating system and mountings are safe for the purpose of raising workers and loads; and

(ii) the components of an aerial device, elevating work platform or personnel lifting unit and its elevating system and mountings are designed in accordance with an approved standard.

(2) An employer or contractor shall not require or permit a worker to be raised or lowered by any aerial device or elevating work platform or to work from a device or platform held in an elevated position unless:

(a) there is an adequate and suitable means of communication between the worker operating the controls and the worker raised on the platform, if they are not the same person;

(b) the elevating mechanism is designed so that, if any failure of the mechanism occurs, the platform will descend in a controlled manner so that no worker on the platform will be endangered;

(c) the controls are designed so that the platform will be moved only when direct pressure is applied to the controls;

(d) the drive mechanism of any operation for moving the platform is positive and does not rely on gravity;

(e) road traffic conditions, environmental conditions, overhead wires, cables and other obstructions do not create a danger to the worker;

(f) the brakes of the aerial device or elevating work platform are engaged, except when operated in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations;

(g) if the aerial device or elevating work platform is equipped with outriggers, the outriggers are set;

(h) pursuant to clause (i), the worker is provided with and is required to use a personal fall arrest system that meets the requirements of Part VII; and

(i) the aerial device or elevating work platform is equipped with a lanyard attachment point that is:

(i) designed and constructed to an approved standard; or

(ii) certified as safe by a professional engineer and installed and used in accordance with that design.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provision in this section but subject to section 465, an employer or contractor shall not require or permit a worker working on an exposed energized high voltage electrical conductor to work from an aerial device or elevating work platform unless the controls are operated by the worker on the device or platform.

(4) Where a worker leaves an aerial device or elevating work platform parked or unattended, an employer or contractor shall ensure that the device or platform:

(a) is locked or rendered inoperative; or

(b) is fully lowered and retracted with all hydraulic systems in the neutral position or incapable of operating by moving the controls.

(5) An employer or contractor shall ensure that:

(a) a worker who operates an aerial device or elevating work platform is trained to operate the device or platform safely; and

(b) the training includes the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations, the load limitations, the proper use of all controls and any limitations on the surfaces on which the device or platform is designed to be used.

(5.1) An employer or contractor shall ensure that, while a worker is on a work platform mounted on a forklift and the forklift is in the raised position, the operator:

(a) remains at the controls; and

(b) does not drive the forklift.

(6) An employer or contractor shall ensure that the manufacturer's operating manual for the aerial device or elevating work platform is kept with the device or platform at all times.

[Sask. Reg. 67/2007, s. 20]

Mines Regulations, 2003
R.R.S., c. O-1, r. 2

Part XI Storage, Transportation and Use of Explosives

Section 260 Safety of workers during blasting

260. (1) An employer or contractor must:

(a) develop a written procedure to ensure the safety of workers during blasting operations; and

(b) ensure that the procedure developed pursuant to clause (a) is followed when blasting operations are carried out.

(2) A blaster who carries out a blasting operation must follow the procedure developed pursuant to subsection (1).

(3) Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), a procedure required by that subsection must include provisions dealing with the following matters:

(a) removing persons from the blast area who may be endangered by the blast;

(b) in the case an open pit mine, controlling traffic on roads at the mine site;

(c) effective guarding of entrances to the blasting site to prevent entry of unauthorized persons;

(d) specifying the type of effective warning devices to be used, procedures for operating them and the timing of their use before and during a blast;

(e) providing for an orderly return to work when the worksite is safe after a blast.

(4) The effective guarding mentioned in clause (3)(c) must include posting a person at each entrance to the blast area and requiring each of those persons to remain until relieved by the blaster.

Section 261 Controlling traffic on public road during surface blasting

261. (1) In this section, "public road" means any road that is accessible to and intended for use by the public.

(2) If persons on a public road may be at risk during a an open pit mine blasting operation, the employer or contractor must develop and implement a written traffic warning plan that deals with the following matters:

(a) obtaining from the appropriate authority any necessary permission to warn traffic;

(b) the type of warning devices to be used;

(c) the number of workers needed to provide adequate warning;

(d) the procedures to be used by workers to control and warn traffic approaching the danger area.

Part XV Haulage

Section 324 Traffic control plan

324. (1) If a worker is in danger from vehicular traffic, an employer or contractor must develop and implement a written traffic control plan to protect the worker from traffic hazards.

(2) The traffic control plan mentioned in subsection (1) must:

(a) be developed in consultation with the committee; and

(b) set out, if appropriate:

(i) the maximum allowable speed of any vehicle in use;

(ii) the maximum operating grades;

(iii) the location and type of control signs;

(iv) the route to be taken by vehicles and units of powered mobile equipment;

(v) the priority to be established for classes of vehicles;

(vi) the location and type of barriers, restricted areas or safety stations;

(vii) the procedure to be used in case of an emergency; and

(viii) the duties of workers and the employer or contractor.

(3) An employer or contractor must ensure that:

(a) workers are trained in the traffic control plan developed pursuant to subsection (1); and

(b) the traffic control plan developed pursuant to subsection (2) is made readily available for reference by workers.