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WorkSafeBC finds construction signage adequate after trench accident

Proper signage and barriers are important to maintaining safe construction sites. Such safety measures are meant to protect workers and bystanders in the area. When a construction site accident results in injury, the proper use of signage may be called into question during a workplace or WorkSafeBC investigation into the exact cause of the accident.

That was the case in Victoria after a cyclist suffered brain injury when she rode into a two-metre-deep construction trench. WorkSafeBC investigated the incident.

The cyclist was reportedly on her way to work on March 31 when the accident happened, and afterward she remained in hospital for more than a month.

There was a question as to whether the construction contractor took all of the necessary safety precautions to control traffic around the site. WorkSafeBC collected evidence in the area and concluded that the contractor took reasonable and adequate traffic-control measures, including use of acceptable construction signage.

According to WorkSafeBC's inspection report, which included statements from witnesses, the cyclist "was weaving in and out of traffic and did not conform to the road signs and vehicle traffic" before she hit the trench. The cyclist also did not heed a verbal warning from traffic-control personnel, according to a witness.

Construction accidents can result in permanent injuries to workers and bystanders, as well as expose contractors and employers to liability. If you would like to learn more about occupational health and safety and workplace investigations, then Overholt Law's OHS and workers' compensation overview is a good place to start.

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