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LEGISLATIVE INTERPRETATIONS

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT

Traffic Safety – Concrete barriers

Topic: Traffic Safety – Concrete barriers Issued By: V.P., WorkSafe Services
Statute: General Regulation 91-191 Date Issued: September 8, 1997
Section: 92(1) Date Revised:

92(1) Where construction is being carried out on a highway or bridge and an employee’s safety may be endangered by vehicular traffic, an employer shall ensure that

(a) concrete barriers or material offering equivalent protection is erected at both ends of the construction and as a divider between the traffic and the work area of the highway or bridge,

Question:
Should concrete barriers or equivalent protection be used at the ends and as a barrier between traffic lanes and the work area on highway construction project sites?

Answer:
The main purpose in using the concrete barrier is to protect workers on bridges and overpasses where there is limited room to escape for either a vehicle or a worker. The use of concrete or equivalent barriers on bridge and overpass work should be enforced unless the width of the bridge prohibits the use of these devices. Most bridges and overpasses on the Trans-Canada are wide enough to accommodate them. Work on these sites requires mostly manual labour in a restricted setting. Realize too, that openings will be required in these barriers to allow for materials to be transported to the work site. Good judgment is required in determining the size of the openings.

Highways may be treated differently. If sufficient lane control devices (traffic cones, barrels, etc.) and trained flag persons are used to direct and control traffic, then this would meet the intent of the legislation on highway construction. Most highway construction work involves the use of heavy equipment with a minimum amount of manual labour carried out in the area.

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