Look out for traffic controllers these holidays

Published Friday, 23 December, 2022 at 11:00 AM

Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing
The Honourable Grace Grace

Queensland motorists have been urged to take it easy on the roads over the busy holiday period, particularly through roadworks.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said traffic control workers are at a much greater risk of injury over the holiday period than during the rest of the year.

“Heavy traffic in the rush to get to places as quickly as possible at Christmas can be a recipe for disaster if people forget the simple and practical rules of the road,” Ms Grace said.

“Leave plenty of time for your trip. Taking a little longer isn’t a tragedy, but fatally injuring traffic control workers who are doing their level best to keep traffic moving and road construction projects on track is.

“Workplace Health and Safety Queensland statistics show at least one traffic controller is killed every year, while around 100 are injured and need medical treatment or time off work.

“It’s vital to drive to the conditions of the day, including slowing down at roadworks.”

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey urged people to take extra care at roadworks. 

“I know it is an exciting time of year and we all want to get home or get away and see family and loved ones over the holidays, but we all have an obligation to think of those people still working,” Mr Bailey said.

“They are trying to help everyone get to their destination as quickly and as safely as possible, and that’s why I’m asking drivers to slow down at roadworks to protect our traffic control workers. 

“Drivers should observe designated speed limits through roadworks, and road construction businesses must have plans in place to protect traffic controllers from fatigued or distracted drivers and heavy holiday traffic.” 

Ms Grace said principal contractors doing construction work on roads must prepare a written work health and safety management plan before starting the project, and every person working on the project must be informed about the plan. 

“A traffic management plan or traffic guidance scheme should be part of the safety management plan,” Ms Grace said. 

“If you’re in charge of high-risk construction work - which is what traffic controllers are doing - you must prepare a safe work method statement which includes measures to control these risks, and how these measures will be monitored and reviewed."

The Traffic management for construction or maintenance work code of practice includes the setting up, operating, changing and ultimate dismantling of a traffic guidance scheme, followed by the determination of appropriate measures to manage exposure to the risks. This process applies to all roadworks, regardless of size or complexity. 

“Remember—plan ahead, leave plenty of time to get where you need to, and show some consideration for those working to keep you safe. That way we all can have a great and safe holiday break,” Ms Grace said.