Saskatoon unveils new, “one-of-a-kind” equipment prototypes for construction workers safety

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The City of Saskatoon has unveiled two “one-of-a-kind” prototype pieces of equipment, designed to ensure the safety construction workers setting up work sites.

At a press conference on July 15, city general manager of transportation and construction, Terry Schmidt revealed the new prototypes.

“We’re anxious to start using these new vehicles for work on high-traffic roads and freeways,” said Terry Schmidt, general manager of transportation and construction.

“The equipment and modifications will act as physical barriers to protect staff from vehicles, and we’ve enhanced the set-up further with clear message boards, bright reflective colours, and state-of-the-art cameras with night-vision.”

Two different vehicles were added to the city’s fleet this summer: a multi-purpose truck with a modified truck bed and digital arrow signage to be used when setting up a work zone; and a vehicle with a crash cushion that acts as a physical barrier for moving work zones with a large message board.

“Our staff witness drivers who are distracted or speeding every day when they work alongside traffic,” says Schmidt. “Rushing to get somewhere quickly could cost someone their life. Please take some extra time when passing a work zone.”

July is Work Zone Safety Month in Saskatoon and the Respect Work Zones public awareness campaign includes real experiences from construction workers including injuries and near misses in work zones.

“People speed past our work zones in a rush to get somewhere on a daily basis, not thinking about my co-workers and I just inches away from a deadly injury,” said Kevin, roadways operations assistant. “My biggest worry is not returning home to see the beautiful faces of my wife and kids at the end of the day. I worry it’s going to take someone dying one day for people to take me, and my co-workers seriously.”Top of Form

Learn more about the safety campaign here or see the new vehicles in this video.

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