Fort St. John flagger tells drivers to slow down

June 22, 2016

You tell ’em Lindsey!

Lindsey Ramsden works as a traffic flagger in Fort St. John, BC, and she is fed up with drivers who “just don’t care” as they speed by and put her life at risk.

In this audio message to drivers, published by CBC’s Daybreak North, Lindsey describes her frustration with “…the people on their cell phones and the people who are too busy trying to get to work too fast to notice that I’m standing right there.”

This baby needs his dad to come home after work

Alden Calleja also works on the road in his job with the City of Vancouver’s Waterworks Department. He and his son are among the families who are telling drivers to slow down.

It’s hard to understand why these drivers don’t care about the people they pass. How dare they forget they are driving by an actual human being with a family and a life and people who love them?!

And it’s not just a problem in Fort St. John; it’s something that happens all over our province – and probably most other places with roads.

I wrote about this topic in my post Father and baby tell workers to slow down; that’s their photo, to the right.

Between 2006 and 2015, 14 roadside workers were killed in B.C. and another 226 injured and missed time from work as a result of being hit by motor vehicles while working on the roads. That’s why the Work Zone Safety Alliance runs a Cone Zone campaign to encourage drivers to slow down and pay attention when driving through a cone zone.

In 2015, the BC government amended its Motor Vehicle Act Regulations under the Slow Down, Move Over legislation.

Prior to this, drivers knew they had to slow down when they saw lights flashing red and blue. In fact, seeing the blue and red would probably make them slow down quickly for fear of a speeding ticket.

But now a flashing amber light also means “slow down.” You’ll see the amber flashing on the vehicles of tow truck drivers, maintenance workers, utility workers, municipal workers, garbage collectors, and others at work on the road.

Speed limit in BC when lights flashing blue, red, or amber

* If the posted speed limit is equal to or greater than 80 km/h, drivers must slow to 70 km/h.

* If the posted speed is less than 80 km/h, drivers must slow to 40 km/h.

In both situations, drivers should be prepared move over and increase the space between their vehicle and the work zone, if it’s safe to do so.

But for some reason, many drivers still don’t do it. This shows we have a long way to go, so I’m glad to see folks like Lindsey speaking out.

Save

Tips for summer safety

June 14, 2016

Here's me enjoying summer long, long ago on a ferry trip to Victoria - photo by my dad.

Here’s me enjoying summer long, long ago on the ferry to Victoria, BC – photo by my dad Bruce Main.

Are you ready for some summer fun? I sure am! Here in beautiful British Columbia, we have many ways to enjoy the season – so here are some tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe at work and play.

On the water

The Canadian Red Cross reminds us to wear life jackets and PFDs. They also have tips for backyard pools and much more.

On the roads

Remember to show respect for people working in the Cone Zone on our roads. The Work Zone Safety Alliance asks us to slow down, drive with care, and think about every cone as if a human being were standing behind it.

DriveBC reminds us to get our vehicles summer-ready, which includes checking fluid levels, brakes, tires, and more. It’s also important to check road conditions before a long trip.

The BC SPCA warns us about the risk of leaving pets in a hot car – even in the shade with the windows partly open. Doing so can seriously harm or even kill your pet in very little time. They advise us to call local animal authorities, the police, or RCMP if you see a pet in distress in a vehicle.

In the wilderness

Plan ahead – and know what type of wildlife are living in or near the places you go for recreation. Check out WildSafeBC for more information on avoiding human-wildlife conflict, at play and at work.

And please check out these campfire regulations before you get ready to toast your marshmallows.

Protect yourself from ticks and check out this information on insect repellents.

At picnics, barbecues, and outdoor meals

The US Food and Drug Administration offers these summer food safety tips, including a reminder to keep foods cool, wash your hands after touching raw meat, keep raw and cooked meats separate, and more.

Keep sun safety in mind and avoid the harmful effects of extreme heat and ultraviolet (UV) radiation, including skin cancer.

Keep cool if you are exercising in hot weather, reminds the Mayo Clinic, and take a look at WorkSafeBC’s Preventing Heat Stress at Work.

Please share these tips with your colleagues, friends, and family – and do let me know if you have any summer safety tips to add.

Fort St. John flagger tells drivers to slow down

Traffic flagger Lindsey Ramsden describes her frustration with “…the people on their cel phones and the people who are too busy trying to get to work too fast to notice that I’m standing right there.”

Logging on steep slopes calls for new safety solutions

They’re using remote controls; tethered, winch-assist logging; and other methods to get at lumber that previously was not accessible.

Treeplanters need right boots to avoid slips, trips, and falls

Researchers found that more experienced planters tended to have better boots, unlike new planters, who were seen wearing “cheaper, light work boots more suitable for construction sites, even light cross-training style runners, and various thrift store bargains.”

New video: How to send a workplace incident report online

An employer must send a preliminary report within 48 hours and a full report within 30 days. All of this can be done online now, which makes things much easier.

A youth’s eye view of workplace safety

Among other things, it teaches youth about their rights, what to expect from employers, and how to speak up when necessary.

See winning student safety videos for 2016

WorkSafeBC received 55 videos by students on the theme: “Impairment at work affect everyone” – and that includes the effects of fatigue.

An evolving approach to injury prevention

Risk advisories are a way for WorkSafeBC to share information on lesser-known risks that aren’t necessarily found in claims data – before they result in an injury to a worker.

Remembering lives lost at work

Please take a moment to think about 52-year-old Amarjit Kaur Bal, 41-year-old Sukhvinder Kaur Punia, and 31-year-old Sarbjit Kaur Sidhu. They died in an overcrowded van in 2007 on their way to work at a farm.

Understanding workplace stress on agenda at Upper Island Safety Conference

Other topics include hazard assessments, preventing violence in the workplace, what’s new for first aid, the role of WorkSafeBC, workplace inspections, natural gas safety, and more.