Caution! Roadwork ahead

Caution! Roadwork ahead


From spring to autumn, a wide range of work is underway on our roads. During the vacation season, travel increase, and consequently, the risk of accidents rise due to the higher traffic flow. 

Learn a little more about the risks faced by road workers, and the best practices to put in place to ensure their safety.

Watch out for construction sites! 

Unfortunately, many workplace accidents occur on our roads each year. The workers who are injured or killed are often traffic controllers.

In 2021 in Canada, 875 accidents were associated with a collision between a vehicle and a worker on foot.

These workers ensure the safety of other workers on the worksite and also ensure the safety of road users.

To achieve this, it's important for drivers and other workers to pay greater attention, but it's also important for workers to be clearly visible. Clothing meeting CSA Z96 high-visibility standards must be worn at all times.

Watch this short video on the CSA Z96 standard

Still too many fatalities on our roads and work sites

The main causes of work-related accidents on our roads are due to:

  • Lack of information and training
  • Exposure to dangerous driving
  • Inadequate signage on work sites (lack of signs)
  • Unsafe work methods (no protective equipment)

True stories

July 23, 2015

– The victim? Francis Précourt, a 41-year-old land surveyor from Saint-Cyrille-de-Wendover, Quebec.

The accident? He was run over by a bulldozer during a maneuver. When the ambulance arrived, the worker had his legs crushed and showed lacerations and important injuries.

He was taken to the emergency room of the Sainte-Croix Hospital in Drummondville and was then transferred to the CHUS. He died a few days later.

August 27, 2012 – The victim? Ashley Richards, 18 years old.

She oversaw traffic control on a roadwork site when she was struck by an SUV at Midale in southeast Saskatchewan. She was pregnant. Her fiancé who was working nearby on the same worksite saw the vehicle coming and witnessed the fatal accident.

The owner of the company where Ashley Richards worked revealed that drivers do not respect traffic signs when driving by construction sites.

September 8, 2011 – The victim? Georges Berger, a 60-year-old land surveyor working on the Highway 30 construction site in Châteauguay, Quebec.

He was killed by a 20-ton truck that was backing up to unload rocks.


Governments are increasing advertising campaigns and prevention programs to encourage motorists to slow down in areas where roadwork is taking place.

According to a recent study, the main danger to workers comes from construction vehicles.

While it may seem that most workers are injured by speeding cars around construction sites, it’s the vehicles within the work zones that are the most dangerous.

It is therefore crucial for road workers to understand how to protect themselves in the face of these dangers.

Road workers: here's how to ensure your safety

Noise is everywhere on a road construction site: heavy trucks, jackhammers, excavators, and audible alarms are everywhere. It only takes a second of inattention to not hear a backup alarm. As in the case of the death of Georges Berger when the backup alarm was working.

Stay visible with high visibility workwear


Orange traffic signs in sight?  Step up and be extra careful! 

Since 2011, the fine for exceeding the speed limit in road construction zones has doubled to raise awareness and encourage drivers to slow down. 

Respect people who work in difficult, noisy, and dangerous conditions.  They are people with families and friends who want to get home from work safely. 

Don't put their lives at risk!

Traffic signs announcing or identifying a worksite help drivers travel safely. The road often deviates for the duration of the construction period and drivers must be extremely careful.

*Important note: traffic signs must always be obeyed, even when work is suspended or there is no worker visible on the construction site.

As a reminder, here are the main traffic signs used on roadwork sites. Respect them in order for everyone to have a happy and safe summer!

The “Flagger Ahead” sign indicates the presence of a flagger controlling the traffic in roadwork zones. Be courteous and obey the signs.

Placed on the side of public roads with three lanes going in the same direction, the “Lane Ends Merge” sign indicates that the left lane is temporarily closed due to roadwork and must merge into the other opened lanes.

The “Road Work Ahead” indicates a work zone on a traffic lane or near one. Be very careful!

The sign with a slanted arrow indicates the direction to follow at that point where a traffic lane is partially or completely closed.

The “Truck Crossing” signs indicate where trucks can access the public road from the worksite

The “Closed Road” sign indicates that from that location, the road is temporarily closed to traffic. Follow the detour signs!

The “Speed Limit” sign indicates the prescribed maximum speed limit near a worksite. Respect it for the safety of workers and yours!


Protective clothing and accessories are a required safety measure for traffic controllers.

High visibility clothing, approved by the ministry or that meets the provincial standard is required to ensure the protection of workers:

Shop for Pioneer Safety Vests