Automated Assistance Flagger Devices (AFADs) essentially replace flaggers who direct traffic flow around construction sites to keep workers and drivers safe. While flaggers play a very important role, it is a risky one, as they face oncoming traffic, often at high speeds.
A study conducted by the occupational health and safety organization (CNESST) in Quebec revealed startling numbers. Between 2016 and 2019, there were 264 major accidents involving flaggers,including several fatalities. The CNESST then collaborated with the Ministry of Transportation of Quebec to find solutions to reduce and hopefully eliminate accidents involving flaggers.
The solution? In October 2020, it was decided to make AFADs mandatory on all flagging operations with speed limits of over 70 KPH (45 MPH in the U.S.). As of July 2021, the CNESST in Quebec has reported no injuries or fatalities to flaggers in work zones where AFADs have been deployed since the mandate was implemented.
By operating the AFAD away from traffic, flaggers are safely out of oncoming motorists’ way. Most operations require 2 AFADs, which can be controlled by one or two flaggers (one in a central location, or two, one at each end of the work zone, all away from traffic). The AFAD has the potential to save lives and can easily be applied in most flagging operations.
Find out more about our AFADs with this video: