Congratulations to Abley’s Eranga Dasanayaka, who won the 3M Traffic Safety Young Professional award at the Transportation Group New Zealand conference held in Queenstown 21–23 March 2018.
Eranga’s paper titled “Traffic Management Plans for Inspections” discussed an issue relevant to many clients, contractors and consultants - the health and safety requirements for inspections and non-invasive site work in relation to the New Zealand Health and Safety Work Act 2015 and the Code of Practice for Temporary Traffic Management (CoPTTM) manual. Current legislation requires an approved Traffic Management Plan (TMP) or Generic Traffic Management Plan (GTMP) to be prepared for any work (whether requiring digging in the road or simply observing a site access from the footway), and for suitably qualified staff to undertake the site work.
With numerous public and private Road Controlling Authorities throughout New Zealand, the process for submitting and approving a TMP or a GTMP can be costly and inefficient for both the organisation undertaking the work and the Road Controlling Authority. This can be a particular issue for small to medium-sized organisations who only have one or two offices in New Zealand but conduct road inspections in multiple regions under the control of different Road Controlling Authorities. The cost for staff members to become qualified can be significant and are required for all staff carrying out inspections on the road corridor, whether permanent or casual surveyors. In addition to transportation professionals, there are other industry professionals such as journalists, photographers and landscape gardeners who, by definition, conduct inspections or non-invasive works on the road corridor and should also be following the requirements of CoPTTM.
Eranga’s paper explores the practicality and financial implications of needing the appropriate training requirements and providing a TMP or GTMP for all inspections and non-invasive works. The paper acknowledges that protecting our people is the number one priority but also considers ways to achieve the same safety outcomes for specific inspections and non-invasive works without such an onerous administrative burden. As a qualified Site Traffic Management Supervisor, Eranga’s role at Abley often requires preparation of Traffic Management Plans. The question remains, should everyone be required to become similarly qualified before going onsite?