Automated Flagger Assistance Devices (AFADs) are becoming increasingly important in British Columbia Canada as a way to protect workers who manage traffic.
You've probably already seen AFADs, with their flashing lights and gate arms at roadway construction sites. Considering the goal is to keep workers away from moving traffic the robotic flag person is the future of traffic control in construction sites.
Traffic control is dangerous work. There's a serious effort by Worksafe BC and other agencies to keep workers away from traffic. Part of the solution is the Automated Flagger System like the one used on Vernon's Eastside road last week.
According to statistics, between 2011 and 2020, over 200 roadside workers were injured and 12 were killed while working close to traffic.
AFADs have flashing lights and flagged gate arms that extend into travel lanes to make them highly visible to road users, and they are portable, easy to set up, and can be operated remotely.
WorkSafeBC encourages the use of AFADs to eliminate worker exposure to vehicular traffic, especially in high-risk locations.
The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation has revised its standards for traffic control to reduce hazards, requiring employers to develop a written traffic control plan and consider aspects such as traffic volume, lines of sight, speed limits, visibility, weather, and road conditions.
Along with the use of AFADs, providing more training for workers is crucial to improving safety in traffic control and protecting workers.
Robotic Traffic Flaggers are Here to Stay
Check out worksafebc.com for more information.