Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, with input from WorkSafe, construction and maintenance suppliers and the road safety sector, has published new best practice guidance to improve safety at work sites – a key challenge facing our transport system.
Version 1 of the New Zealand guide to temporary traffic management (NZGTTM) outlines how to use a risk-based approach to plan and mitigate the risks to road workers and road users to keep them safe. The guide provides advice to organisations on how to put risk assessment and planning first before decisions on control types and equipment are made. The new risk-based approach ensures that Temporary Traffic Management (TTM) setups are as safe as possible for the specific risks at each site. It will be useful for road construction and maintenance, events, emergency response or any activity where a temporary road design is required.
Vanessa Browne, Waka Kotahi National Manager Programme and Standards, says the new guidance aims to drive a culture change to improve safety for road workers and road users to work towards our vision of zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads.
“People continue to die and be seriously injured at TTM sites and this needs to change. Between 2017 and 2021, there were 43 fatal crashes and 287 serious injury crashes at worksites. This is compelling evidence that a new approach is needed to temporary traffic management across New Zealand.
“The new Waka Kotahi guide has been developed to be consistent with WorkSafe's Good Practice Guideline: Keeping healthy and safe when working on the road or roadside to help organisations meet their obligations under Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. Together, the Waka Kotahi guide and WorkSafe’s good practice guide create great tools to help the industry to move to a risk-based approach.
“Waka Kotahi recognises this represents a change in the way the industry delivers its work. As a first step, Waka Kotahi is updating its contracts with its construction and maintenance partners to adopt the new guidance at Waka Kotahi work sites across the transport network. Waka Kotahi also welcomes the wider industry to adopt the risk-based approach and we’re pleased to be working in partnership with the recently established industry-led TTM steering group to support the needs of the industry”, says Ms Browne.
Dave Tilton, Chair of the industry-led TTM steering group says the group's primary focus is to help support the upcoming transition to the NZGTTM, considering the needs of all parties impacted by TTM, including on-site workers.
“The group aims to collaboratively shape the future of TTM in New Zealand as the nation transitions from the Code of Practice for Temporary Traffic Management (CoPTTM) to the New Zealand guide to temporary traffic management.
“As the TTM industry evolves, the industry steering group will provide a central point of communication for all stakeholders, aiming to facilitate a seamless and well-informed transition to the NZGTTM while fostering a collaborative and innovative environment for New Zealand's traffic management sector. We encourage all stakeholders to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns so that the industry steering group can effectively represent their interests during this crucial period”, says Mr Tilton.