In recent interviews with both BCC Radio Hereford and Worcester, Safer Highways VC, Joe Docherty spoke to, ‘the ever-increasing problem’ of abuse directed at road workers, and how the highways industry has been working to tackle the problem.
This is an issue that we at Re-flow were sad to have found following our own research with YouGov last year. That same data is what Joe Doherty is referring to when describing the growing problem of abuse directed towards road workers carrying out essential road works on both local and national roadways.
This abuse takes different forms. Dangerous or careless driving and verbal abuse is the most common. However, more severe incidents involving weapons are also a constant concern as levels of abuse remain a growing concern.
In the interviews, Mr Doherty highlights how, for too long, workers have tolerated the abuse from the public as simply a part of the job. This has led to greater impacts upon workers mental health and caused some to consider leaving the industry entirely due to the stress.
The Stamp It Out campaign has been working to eradicate this abuse, using training in conflict management to de-escalate situations, promoting better reporting of incidents, and also working to increase the public’s awareness of the problem.
But, as our research found, across the board, only 42% of the public agree that enough is being done to tackle the problem of roadworker safety, highlighting a considerable scope to expand the efforts to tackle this pernicious problem.
For Mr Doherty, being able to empower workers and encourage them to report abuse is key to better understanding, "the full scale of the challenge so we can work together with the public and our clients to break the cycle of abuse and stamp it out".
This is something we at Re-flow are working to support, both in promoting awareness campaigns, as well as developing the tools for workers to report abuse right into our software’s mobile application. Our Managing Director, Mike Saunders, has stated how he sees providing clients with the means to record the details of any abuse and report it instantly to the right people as a main goal for our software, ensuring that we are a key partner in mitigating and managing the dangers faced by our road workers.