North Yorkshire County Council and its teckal partner, North Yorkshire Highways, have become the latest local authority member of Safer Highways.
They join the organisation ahead of a busy year of programmes, including Stamp It Out-the industry led campaign aimed at eradicating road worker abuse.
Other programmes this year include; mental health including the Big Conversation about Mental Health series, the Thriving at Work survey and Mental Health Summit as well as service strikes, drugs and alcohol and people/plant interface.
Local authorities are being offered the chance to help shape improvements in the future of health, safety and wellbeing on the public highway with the introduction of free membership to Safer Highways.
The move follows a clear intention by Safer Highways to ensure that its vision for safer road workers, safer road user is applied to the public highway as well as the high-speed network.
By becoming members of Safer Highways local authorities will get the chance to have their say on how the public highway can become safer for all and how its successful series of health, safety and wellbeing programmes including its ground-breaking work on mental health in the workplace, Road to Wellbeing Survey and report and the new Stamp It Out Campaign, set up to eradicate abuse of roadworkers which aims to change the law making not only this abuse illegal but give highway workers key worker status.
Speaking about joining Safer Highways, Nigel Smith, Head of Highway Operations at North Yorkshire County Council said: “North Yorkshire County Council and our teckal partner, North Yorkshire Highways, are very keen to join Safer Highways as we want to play a proactive role in ensuring the working environment for every one of our employees is as safe as possible and that environment is free of abuse/inappropriate behaviour towards our teams.
“We want our staff to feel valued in the work they do to keep the network safe for all highway users and promote a working environment where our employees’ physical & mental health, safety and wellbeing is at the core of our culture; everyone has the right to feel safe at work. We wish to send a clear message that abuse of our staff will not be tolerated, but also want to educate people to the fact that many of the measures that are put in place whilst the works are being undertaken are also for road users’ safety and protection, too.
“Ultimately, we all want such works to be completed as safely and swiftly as possible, but also want these key workers to go home to their families and loved ones without the added challenge, pressure or upset of having been abused, threatened or assaulted.”
Kevin Robinson, Chief Executive of Safer Highways said: “It is great to be able to welcome North Yorkshire County Council and North Yorkshire Highways to membership. Like Safer Highways, they are organisation’s that are going through a positive transition and we look forward to their input to ensure our work is relevant to both local and strategic networks.”