News Release - May 6, 2009
HIGHWAYS WORKERS FOCUS ON SAFETY AS PART OF NAOSH WEEK
As part of the North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week, Highways and Infrastructure employees in Regina were treated to a presentation by CTV anchor Carla Beynon on the need for caution while working in the Orange Zone.
Prior to her broadcast career, Beynon suffered serious fractures to her back while working as a flag person in Alberta. She was picking up pylons along the Trans Canada Highway near Banff when a driver shot ahead and pinned her against a semi-trailer highway tractor.
"We are very fortunate to have such a high profile person relay this timely safety message," Highways and Infrastructure Minister Wayne Elhard said. "Each year, the Ministry hires up to 150 young people to work as flag persons and in other field positions. On average, 8,000 young people across North America, working in a variety of fields, are injured on the job each year. We're working hard to ensure that doesn't happen in Saskatchewan."
The Ministry has a very busy construction season this year with $630 million being the largest budget in its history. This means a greater likelihood that motorists will come across Orange Zones this season where maintenance and construction of roads and bridges is being undertaken.
"We're working to ensure drivers slow to 60 km/h, both in the Orange Zone and when passing highway vehicles, to protect the lives our crews," Elhard said. "We want everyone to ‘Make it home safe everyday' - the theme of this year's NAOSH Week. While new student hires are provided with a two-day safety training orientation, everyone benefits from a presentation like this to help drive the safety message home."
The Ministry is committed to providing safer workplaces through better equipment and training. Whether clearing snow and ice in the winter, or rehabilitating highways and bridges throughout the rest of the year, highway workers are at risk of being injured on the job while ensuring the safety of Saskatchewan's 26,000-km highway network. New student hires are provided with a two-day safety training orientation. NAOSH week events help to reinforce the safety message for both workers and the public.
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