Traffic Control and Young Workers

At many construction and utility sites, young workers are often chosen for traffic control jobs in the summer. Doing traffic control may seem like the perfect summer job for a high school, college, or university student. They get to be outside all day, work in a busy, active environment, and learn about the industry.

The problem is that people sometimes underestimate how much training and orientation a traffic control person (TCP) needs. There’s a lot more to it than simply holding a stop-slow sign.

If you are a young worker—or the parent of a young worker—doing traffic control this summer, make sure that the following items have been covered as part of the training and orientation process:

  • The plan for traffic protection and control has been explained to everyone on the jobsite, including the TCPs.
  • The pathways for pedestrians, equipment, and vehicle traffic have been pointed out.
  • The TCP has been shown the blind spots for the different vehicles and equipment that will be operated on site.
  • Escape routes have been established for TCPs, especially if they are working near a highway or other busy road.
  • The TCP has been informed of how the traffic control plan may be adjusted if road conditions change because of the weather.
  • The proper personal protective equipment has been provided to the TCP based on the hazards they will be exposed to on the site. This includes a Class E hard hat, a pair of CSA-certified, Grade-1 safety boots, and a high-visibility safety vest that complies with the OHSA regulations and meets the CSA standard for a Class-2 garment.
  • The TCP knows the difference between a traffic control person and a signaller. TCPs should not perform the duties of a signaller unless they are properly trained.
  • The TCP has been told about their rights as a worker:
  1. The right to know about workplace health and safety hazards
  2. The right to participate in dealing with health and safety issues
  3. The right to refuse work if they feel it will endanger them. They should also know that they are protected against reprisals if they express any concerns about their safety.


For more information about establishing safe traffic control procedures on a jobsite, order or download IHSA’s pocket-sized Handbook for Construction Traffic Control Persons(B016). A French version is also available.

[Note: If this article is going to be a web page, you can include a direct link to the products referenced above.]

Handbook for Construction Traffic Control Persons

French version

Links to the pictures above (if needed):


No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.