By Stacy Goldsworthy, Technical Manager, Civil Contractors New Zealand
Waka Kotahi released its draft New Zealand Guide to Temporary Traffic Management (NZGTTM) on 8 March. This document was produced in consultation with the wider industry, including Civil Contractors New Zealand, and provides one part of a proposed framework to how temporary traffic management can be delivered. It is now time for the wider industry to have its say through this consultation process, which you can do now through an online Waka Kotahi survey.
This document is part of a fundamental change in progress on how road workers will be kept safe in the future. These workers will now become the primary focus when road work is procured and planned, with a heirarchy of controls designed to protect and support them.
This requires a shift in culture, and is an opportunity for industry to re-focus on risk to road workers rather than traffic flow. The predecessor to NZGTTM - known as the Code of Practice for Temporary Traffic Management or 'CoPTTM' - was largely a prescriptive document. It did not provide for addition control measures to keep people safe.
Why is this important? Because working on New Zealand roads is an inherently risky place of work. While there are a number of health and safety measures employed to keep workers and road users safe, at times these aren’t sufficient.
Several years ago, Austroads introduced a risk-based approach to how roadworks were delivered. This represented a significant change in the traditional thinking involved in road worker safety, and came in response to an Austroads review of how to meet the requirements of their health and safety at work legislation and how this related directly to road workers and all who were protected by temporary traffic management. The current COPTTM document was reviewed as part of this guidance.
WorkSafe has also developed road and roadside worker health and safety good practice guidelines in consultation with industry on how the health and safety at work act should apply in this space. This is considered to be a key document as it sets out how they see health and safety decisions being made for those that work in the road environment.
CCNZ will be composing industry submissions on NZGTTM and the WorkSafe guidance. This work is conducted through our technical committees. If you would like to contribute or inform CCNZ's submission, please get in touch with me directly.