Flagging and Lane Closure are essential parts of many work activities where workers may be exposed to danger from moving traffic. Many years ago the people directing traffic around obstructions carried red flags on short handles. From this they were called “flaggers” and this name stuck even after the rules changed and the familiar “Stop/Slow” double sided paddle was adopted. Their actual title is “Traffic Control Persons” or TCP’s although the Motor Vehicle Act still refers to them as “flaggers”.
TCP’s are a critical element of traffic control in British Columbia and they are required to direct traffic when any part of the roadway will be occupied by workers or equipment. This is encountered when there is road work being done, when work is being done on utility wires either above or below ground, when a large crane is parked near a worksite and it is blocking traffic, or for special events such as movie shoots or sports events. When they are required is set out in the WorkSafe BC OH Regulations.
Flaggers must successfully take a two day course in traffic control. Their certification is good for two years and then they must take a refresher course to be brought up to date on the latest regulations. Although they are not Peace Officers or Police, it is an offence under Section 141 of the Motor Vehicle Act to disobey them.
When the Ansan Group hires a newly graduated TCP their education really begins. Hands on experience on the road is what makes a good TCP. At first the new TCP is paired with a senior partner who will introduce them slowly to various traffic situations. Reports are made as to the person’s ability and level of proficiency and only when they have developed the experience and confidence necessary for the job will they be sent out on their own. For their first year with Ansan they will be sent on more basic assignments and in team situations where they will learn from their fellow flaggers. The Ansan Group never knowingly sends a flagger who cannot handle the job assigned in a competent professional manner.
Generally, when flaggers are called out, they travel to the work site in their private vehicles and do not carry signs or traffic control equipment. These are provided by the customer requesting TCP’s.
Where it is necessary to actually close a lane to traffic a more rigorous traffic control setup is required and a Lane Closure Vehicle with a Flashing Arrow Board (FAB) is employed to increase visibility and to act as a buffer between oncoming traffic and the workers in the roadway.
Another case for the use of a Lane Closure Vehicle is when a customer has no signs and traffic control equipment of his own. In that case, a Lane Closure Truck with a complete compliment of equipment and signs is dispatched. The driver is a TCP and upon arrival on the job site he or she will set up the necessary traffic control layout.
Ansan Dispatch Service
When you find yourself in need of traffic control services a simple call to the Ansan dispatch line will put you in touch with a helpful dispatcher who will take your request and arrange the necessary flagging or lane closure services for you. If you have no experience in these matters, she will assist you in determining what you need. Our dispatch service is available 24 hours a day seven days a week. We have no answering machines. You always get a real person with real answers for you.
If you want to know more about Flagging or Lane Closure, all the technical stuff, that is here for you to read. We at Ansan feel it is important that our customers understand what we do!