Road workers attacked and hit by cars while carrying out repairs on Sheffield's streets
Road workers have been assaulted and hit by cars while carrying out works on Sheffield streets, prompting highways bosses to urge drivers to take more care.
Sheffield Council contractor Amey said there have also been incidents where a car drove through a road closure, ignoring attempts by on-sit workers to stop the driver.
It comes after a survey found 62 per cent of Sheffielders admitted to not being ‘as safety conscious as they should be when negotiating roadworks’ – comapred to the UK average of 59 per cent.
Melissa Wise, operations director at Streets Ahead said: “We’ve had numerous incidents involving threats of physical violence and actual physical violence to our workforce and our sub-contractors. We’ve also had operatives who have been clipped by cars as they’ve sped past,” added Melissa.
“With the number of vehicles on our roads continuing to rise each year, and with darker nights and wintry conditions on the horizon, we want to remind Sheffield drivers to take extra care when travelling around roadworks and always put safety first.”
The findings echo recent research undertaken by Highways England, which revealed a catalogue of serious incidents and near-misses across the country, ranging from motorists driving into coned-off areas, to physical and verbal abuse of workers.
Ms Wise said: “Whilst the figures for Sheffield are just above the national average, there’s still a long way to go to ensure that our workers feel completely safe when carrying out their job on the city’s roads.
“Our programme of works is vast and we’re often working across multiple locations throughout Sheffield at one time. What’s more, we regularly carry out work during night time hours to avoid further disruption during peak travel times. However, this poses its own challenges for our teams, particularly during the winter when it’s darker and weather conditions are more unpredictable.
“The majority of people do drive responsibly but there has been a number of incidents where restrictions or diversions have been ignored, which is not acceptable or safe.
“We know diversions and disruption can cause frustration for drivers, but it’s sometimes essential for us to close roads and that’s usually when we see a rise in incidents. Our workers are there to do their job and it’s not right for them to face fear of injury whilst on site.”