Roadside construction in Victoria involves a great amount of inherent risk due to people working near heavy equipment, traffic, hot and noisy surroundings, according to WorkSafe.
Marnie Williams, WorkSafe Executive Director Health and Safety, said that this requires companies and workers to exercise caution amid several projects across the state. Williams said that the public also plays an important role in preventing accidents.
Employers need to identify potentially dangerous sites within the scope of a project, which should then be relayed to labourers. An efficient contingency plan also includes traffic management. Employees must follow these procedures for their own safety.
On the other hand, WorkSafe advised motorists to be extra mindful of highway workers and avoid road rage as much as possible. You will normally see road signs for traffic directions on project sites, or a mobile unit with vehicle led light bars since construction areas need to be well-lit.
In New Zealand, drivers generally encounter the same scenario.
Kiwi Road Safety
The New Zealand government understands WorkSafe’s sentiment on road safety, as it plans to spend more than $22 million to improve several regional highways in Northland, Taranaki, Manawatū-Whanganui, Canterbury, Otago and Southland.
The investment will take place after the Ministry of Transport and New Zealand Transportation Authority’s (NZTA) data showed that there were 359 road-related deaths as of Dec. 17, which is almost equivalent to one fatality per day in 2017.
This number exceeded the figure in 2016 when 327 people died on New Zealand roads. NZTA plans to break ground on road upgrades in February 2018 and complete them by June.
Employers and workers should have a clear understanding of the risks involved in highway construction. Whether a road project occurs in Australia or New Zealand, the efficiency of safety measures should remain the same.