WorkSafe BC is the driving force behind Traffic Control Persons (TCP’s) and traffic control around work sites in this province. It is all about workplace safety. Their mandate is the protection of workers and workplace safety. They derive their authority from the Workers Compensation Act [RSBC 1996] c. 492. Their powers are extensive.
The WorkSafe BC website is massive but everything you need to know is there. It may take a little digging and it is overwhelming when you first look at it. We will try to cover the highlights here as they affect traffic control.
They became involved in traffic control because there are many situations in which workers have to go on the road to perform work; road construction and maintenance, construction of works adjacent to the road, delivery of building materials to work sites, installation and maintenance of utilities such as water, gas, hydro and communications. It was found that this posed additional risk to workers and WorkSafe, or WCB as it is often called, stepped in to regulate the protection of those workers.
We are going to look specifically at the rules for traffic control around work areas which is only a small part of what WorkSafe BC does. The goal is to understand what is required on a job site to satisfy WorkSafe Inspectors who frequently attend at worksites and inspect the traffic control measures in place for compliance with their regulations.
The WCB Act and Regulations to that act cover issues such as Correction of Unsafe Conditions, Refusal of Unsafe Work by employees, Working Alone or in Isolation, Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment, Safety Headgear, High Visibility Apparel in addition to the traffic control provisions in Part 18. These regulations are mandatory on the TCP’s on the road and not subject to being over ridden by customers of the Ansan Group.
Part 18 of the WorkSafe BC Regulations is entitled Traffic Control and to understand the function of Traffic Control Persons (TCP’s) you have to read this part. Lets look at some portions of it.
Who is a TCP
It is interesting to note that anyone designated or assigned by an employer to direct traffic is a TCP. (See the TCP definition in 18.1) There is no stipulation for the training they have. The designation can apply to anyone.
Responsibility for Traffic Control
Who is responsible for traffic control? 18.2 says that any time traffic could be a danger to a worker, the employer must take steps to control traffic. So the employer has the prime responsibility.
Standards for Traffic Control
Section 18.3 defines the standard as that set out in the Traffic Control Manual for Work on Roadways (the MoTH Manual). It is interesting that the MoTH Manual was originally designed to apply to only Provincial roads and highways. Part 18.3 of the WCB Regulations, however, has applied it to all roads and highways:
“18.3 Standards for traffic control”
Traffic control equipment, arrangements and procedures must meet the requirements of the latest
edition of the Traffic Control Manual for Work on Roadways (the “Traffic Control Manual”) issued by
the Ministry of Transportation, unless otherwise specified by this Regulation.”
This statement in 18.3 makes the MoTH Manual the rule book for traffic control around work sites. It is actually cast wider than that because it says “Traffic control procedures in British Columbia” and does not say anyhting about worksites. So the Manual has very wide application.
TCP’s must be Used
When and how TCP’s are to be deployed are set out in Sections 18.4 thru 18.8.
Training of TCP’s
Section 18.4 (1)(c) set out that training is to be “in a manner aceptable to the Board, meaning the Workers Compensation Board”.
Uniforms and Equipment
The minimum requirements for uniforma nd equipment are found in Sections 18.9 thru 18.11