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Keeping Road Workers Safe - Innovative Detour Set-Up

The Transportation department was recognized as a 2021 finalist for the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) Road Safety Engineering award for its new detour truck, and the innovative way it protects Sign Shop workers who set up detours and work zones on high-speed expressways.


The Transportation department was recognized as a 2021 finalist for the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) Road Safety Engineering award for its new detour truck, and the innovative way it protects Sign Shop workers who set up detours and work zones on high-speed expressways.


 Setting detours and work zones is unique, challenging and high-risk road work that requires incredible discipline, focus and planning to enter uncontrolled environments with potential for serious injury or fatality. With more work zones every year, including more night work, we started seeing more near misses reported by our workers. 

The fundamental change to the detour unit required an exemption to the Saskatchewan Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, allowing workers to ride in the back of the truck, adequately restrained, and have their body (arms) protrude past the vehicle when they systematically reach out to set traffic control signs and devices.

The detour truck eliminating `boots on the ground' has significantly reduced the potential for serious injuries or fatalities. In its first construction season there were no reported incidents when this equipment was used and staff report feeling exponentially more protected at work.

Watch above: multi-purpose vehicle in action with other equipment that further protects workers and other drivers in these moving work zones, as part of the Respect Work Zone campaign. 

Congratulations to Jon Theobald, Sign Shop Superintendent; David Neilson, Occupational Health & Safety Superintendent; Cory Funk, Traffic Operations & Control Manager; and all Sign Shop staff (current and recently retired) who participated in the development of this equipment and the associated processes.