Kent County Council operatives verbally abused and worker struck by driver

More evidence has emerged of road workers being abused by members of the public this week.

A group of Kent County Council operatives were verbally abused and a worker struck by a driver who drove above cones and signs, dragging them along the roads and causing workers to jump out the way as he drove at speed towards them.

On the same closure, another vehicle made its way through, verbally abusing the workers as he drove.

Adam Murdin, Clerk of Works at Kent County Council, who witnessed the abuse said: “After 18 years working on highways it still amazes me the abuse highway workers receive on a daily basis. Luckily, the worker who got hit is okay, but what is the point of getting irate over people doing their job.”

Replying to a post detailing the incident on Linkedin, other workers detailed their own experience of abuse. One resurfacing worker said: “I have seen knives pulled on tm Gateley punches thrown assaults on workers and even a near death with a car ploughing through gate closure and hitting a roller at 60mph and putting roller driver in hospital and off for 8 months. And still nothing is being done to prevent this shocking behaviour on our sites all over the country.”

Another operative said: “I was just doing an inspection of the verge works and got shouted at by three different cars as I was walking down the closed lane.”

Meanwhile, another comment highlighted the level that abuse can get to: “I have seen knives pulled, punches thrown assaults on workers and even a near death with a car ploughing through gate closure and hitting a roller at 60mph and putting the driver in hospital and off work for eight months. And still nothing is being done to prevent this shocking behaviour on our sites all over the country.”

Last month it was revealed that workers in the Hereford and Worcester region were being abused on a daily basis, with some describing the situation as ‘horrendous’ and this had meant they were considering changing careers.

This latest shocking evidence is the very reason that Safer Highways started the industry-led Stamp It Out campaign, set up to help eradicate road worker abuse. Currently, the campaign is focused on raising awareness of the issues and working on improving communications between industry and the public. It is also developing conflict management training to help our teams be able to de-escalate situations that might lead to altercations, as well as working across the industry to standardise a app to encourage workers to report abuse as well as to understand in more detail, 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.’

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