Impact of the Decision-Making Environment on Policy Responses to Road Worker Fatality in Manitoba and Saskatchewan

By Pankratz, Curt J. | Canadian Journal of Public Health, January 1, 2017 | Go to article overview

Impact of the Decision-Making Environment on Policy Responses to Road Worker Fatality in Manitoba and Saskatchewan


Pankratz, Curt J., Canadian Journal of Public Health


WORKER SAFETY IN CONSTRUCTION ZONES

Roadway traffic fatalities remain a central concern for policy-makers. This problem is important for road users as well as construction workers, who must coexist with vehicles. When workers are injured, policy and law makers often re-evaluate existing policy. However, contextual factors and the decision-making environment can vary, and therefore so can policy responses to similar events. Recently, two similar highwayworker fatalities occurred in Canada - one in Manitoba and one in Saskatchewan. They both led to legal changes but the changes were starkly different. In Manitoba, changes primarily involved increases in fines, while in Saskatchewan the event led to a broader examination and the development of a more comprehensive safety strategy. The fact that two apparently similar critical events occurred in different provinces within a short time frame presents a unique opportunity to examine the role of decision-making environments while in effect holding the type of event constant. This is useful because under normal circumstances, different kinds of events call for different kinds of policy responses. The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of decision-making environments in the formation of public health and safety policy. In particular, the paper examines the ways in which the decision-making environment differed between the two provinces and how this led to vastly different policy responses. A recent theoretical taxonomy of decision-making environments and outcomes is applied to contextualize results within the larger realm of policy-making.

The safety of workers on highway construction projects remains a critical safety issue, and accidents within work zones pose a threat to all road users.1 This policy challenge is compounded by the fact that the severity of injuries to highway workers is affected by a range of factors, including the location of the work zone, work duration, time of day and type of work activity.2 In addition, sociocultural factors such as the number of licensed drivers, the ratio of workers travelling by carpool, and drivers with limited Englishspeaking ability are associated with higher crash risk.3 Because of the complex nature of relevant policy, legal responses to critical events should also be carefully considered and cannot be reduced to easily implemented solutions.4

Knowledge about the effectiveness of various safety strategies has been in continual evolution and recent research has identified strategies that have effectively improved worker safety on highways. Within this research, roadside signage has been identified as a critical piece of the puzzle and has become a focus.5 Various signage structures and arrangements have been found to be effective, but of critical importance is that signs are visible, easy to understand and give an accurate picture of what drivers are about to face.

In addition to adequate signing, however, many supplemental strategies have been identified. The use of highway flaggers is an effective tool for safety in highway work zones.1,6 However, although flaggers are part of the safety structure to protect other workers, the flaggers themselves are at risk and depend on other aspects of the material arrangements. In a sense, by the nature of their work, flaggers transfer the risk of injury from other workers to themselves. Therefore, not only must safety policies aim at the safety of workers in general, they should include attention to flaggers.

Other effective instruments include emergency flasher control devices, which get drivers' attention and encourage them to slow down,7 and portable electronic message signs.8 Such message signs are particularly useful because not only do they get the attention of drivers, they have the capacity to transmit a number of clear messages in rotating cycles.

Since drivers slow down when they see an enforcement vehicle, it has also been found that mock police vehicles are effective ways to reduce speeds and increase the headway between vehicles entering work zones. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Impact of the Decision-Making Environment on Policy Responses to Road Worker Fatality in Manitoba and Saskatchewan
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.