Traffic Control Persons for Construction


Interaction between contractors and the general public is often unavoidable in construction projects, and this creates risks that must be managed effectively. Closing roads is a common solution when traffic interferes with the project, but when this is not possible, contractors must rely on traffic control persons – also known as flagpersons, flaggers or signalers.

According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOSH), the roles of a traffic control person are the following:

  • Guiding traffic safely through construction sites by stopping, slowing or directing vehicles.
  • Regulating traffic as needed to protect workers.
  • Giving clear directions and signals, so drivers understand exactly what to do.
  • Controlling traffic without causing more congestion or delay than necessary.

In most Canadian provinces and territories, training is legally required for traffic control persons, and each jurisdiction has its own laws. This course meets the Ontario Traffic Manual – Book 7 – Temporary Conditions and OSHA Safety Standards. The course is also recognized by the International Competency Assessment Board (I-CAB), and is listed as a Competency Development resource for participants who are subject to an I-CAB assessment.

Traffic control has four main objectives in construction projects:

  • Protecting construction workers and the general public.
  • Optimizing traffic: Stopping vehicles as needed to protect workers, but allowing movement at reduced speed to avoid congestion and delays.
  • Allowing project activities to proceed efficiently, while conserving safety.
  • Giving drivers priority over construction equipment.

Traffic control persons are also responsible for directing motorcycle drivers and pedestrians, since they are also exposed to hazards.

Course Topics

The Traffic Control Person for Construction Training online course covers the techniques and equipment required for traffic control in a road construction environment, including the legal aspects. The course covers personal protective equipment (PPE), traffic control under different scenarios, and general safety guidelines.

The Traffic Control Person – Temporary Conditions online course covers:

  • Safety equipment requirements
  • Using hand signals and STOP/SLOW signs
  • Worker and supervisor responsibilities
  • Job preparations for a traffic control person
  • Traffic control system layouts and optimal placement
  • Authority of a traffic control person

These topics are covered in five chapters:

  • Traffic Control Requirements and Regulations
  • Traffic Control Person Roles and Responsibilities
  • Safety Equipment and Devices
  • Preparing for the Job
  • Doing the Job

After the Course

After taking this course, you will be able to explain the responsibilities of a Traffic Control Person, and describe the PPE required and its proper use. You will also identify the signs and equipment used in traffic control, and situations where they are required. Finally, you will be able to explain why planning and previous communication are important for workplace safety.

The skills you will acquire also include:

Conducting inspections before and after each activity.
Choosing a suitable spot to control traffic.
Adequate steps and signals to slow or stop the traffic.
Responding to unexpected issues and emergencies.

This course is educational, and should not be viewed as a replacement for the standards, codes and laws applied in each jurisdiction.

Additional Considerations for a Traffic Control Person

In addition to proper training, traffic control persons must be provided with all the necessary information about the project: planned activities for the day, equipment in use, layout, etc.

The CCOSH lists the minimum Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for traffic control persons, which must be CSA approved: high-visibility vest, hard hat, safety shoes, safety goggles and earplugs. Traffic control persons must also have an action plan to protect themselves in an emergency, for example when a vehicle does not follow instructions or loses control.

The CCOSH only recommends traffic control persons only when other methods are inadequate or insufficient. However, suitable methods such as barriers and traffic signals should be used when possible to help with the task.

I-CAB Approved

This content developer is recognized by the International Competency Assessment Board (I-CAB) for its expertise in this subject matter and is listed as a competency development resource for I-CAB assessment participants.

Universally Compatible

This course was created using standards that will allow playback on most internet capable devices with standard web browsing capabilities including Apple’s iTouch, iPad, and iPhone, as well as most other smart phones and tablets including those with Android and Windows operating systems.


Average Completion Time

Completion times vary depending on the number of times the information is viewed prior to finishing the course. The average completion time is 60 minutes.


Knowledge Assessment

Testing is conducted in this online course to reinforce the information presented. You are provided three opportunities to achieve a passing mark of 80% or greater.


Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of this course, a certificate will be available to download and print. You can access your certificate through your online account.

Traffic Control Persons Training for Construction