Some of the most at risk highway construction workers in Saskatchewan are going to be better protected thanks to a new pilot project being run in the province.
The Ministry of Highways has initiated a new pilot program in which three remote-controlled “Guardian Angel” automatic flagging assistance devices (AFAD) are operating in work zones this construction season.
These truck-mounted, remote-controlled devices allow the flag person to be off the roadway while controlling traffic, minimizing their risk of injury.
“Flag persons often have close calls with motorists who do not slow down or pay adequate attention while traveling through work zones,” Highways Minister Fred Bradshaw said in a release. “Being able to take workers off the road and away from traffic helps negate the very real danger that is present every minute of each shift.”
“Trailer-mounted or stand-alone AFAD models have been used for larger construction sites, but their size and weight make them more difficult to move. This truck-mounted model is ideal for projects like patching or other maintenance where workers are moving frequently because the truck can simply be driven forward as needed,” the province said.
The Guardian Angel is manufactured in Watrous, by Guardian Angel Auto Flagger Manufacturing.
They are being used by crews in the Moose Jaw, Outlook and Prince Albert areas.
The pilot program will evaluate the number of near misses, miscommunications and feedback from flag persons in the previously mentioned work zones.