Inside three weeks since its launch, the Highways Sector’s collective Stamp it Out petition to government has now reached 5,000 signatories, its first milestone towards changing the law around ensuring our Roadworkers are now classified as key workers and afforded the same protection as emergency services.
The official government petition needs 100,000 signatures before the subject will be considered to be debated in parliament and the Safer Highways industry led initiative is calling on more of the industry to support its campaign to help eliminate road worker abuse.
Stamp It Out has the eventual desire being to effect a change in the members bill around punishments for abuse of key workers and have the industry included as a part of this.
Led by Kari Sprostanova, Heath and Safety Director of Balfour Beatty UKCS and Rachel Heaps Busines Management Systems Manager at Tarmac, the Taskforce also includes David Campbell, HSEQ Director of Eurovia Ringway, James Birch, Managing Director of Kier Highways – Local Authority, Joe Docherty, HSEQ Director of Amey Transportation and Dave Foster, SHEQ Director of Carnell.
Ms Sprostanova said: “Everyone has the right to feel safe at work. Nobody should ever be threatened, intimidated or assaulted because of the job they do. And yet this is a scenario faced by thousands of people who work on this country’s road networks every single day. Abuse of doctors, nurses, police officers and other key workers is not tolerated. Our road workers should not have to tolerate it either. This is why Safer Highways, in conjunction with representatives from across our supply chain have launched our Stamp It Out campaign, which aims to help toughen the legislation around abuse of road workers, support them and raise awareness of the vital role they play in keeping our infrastructure going. I am delighted to lead this campaign with Safer Highways, with an ambition to effect genuine and long-lasting change in the industry.”
Road worker abuse is a growing concern on both the local and strategic road networks in the UK as well as the wider highways and transport sectors, affecting the physical and mental health and wellbeing of workers on an alarmingly regular basis. Past incidents have been so severe, they have involved knives, shotguns and crossbows being pulled on workers as they go about their daily tasks.
Stamp It Out believe this is wholly unacceptable and wants to see abuse of all kinds whether verbal or physical, eliminated on all road networks and indeed in the wider transport industry as well.
Writing in support of the campaign for an article in the last edition of SH magazine, Paul Fleetham, Managing Director of Tarmac Construction said: “Throughout my time as Managing Director of Tarmac Construction, road worker abuse and incursions have been a constant concern, and I and my teams continue to do all we can to protect our people. However, to make a real and long-lasting difference we need the industry and the Great British public to come together and say enough is enough, protect our essential workers and stamp it out!”
Speaking about the launch of the petition, Karl Simons, Chief Health, Safety and Securities Officer at Thames Water, one of the project leads said: “At Thames Water we have thousands of our people working every day on the Public Highway and their vital service should never be underestimated. Suffering physical or psychological abuse when undertaking this dangerous work is totally unacceptable and we absolutely must Stamp It Out”
“What the Stamp It Out collective now call on our industry to do is to sign the petition and join us in making a real step change for our industry.”
Stamp it Out not only has goals to change the law around the classification of our roadworkers but also to implement some real and long lasting changes such as free to access training around conflict resolution and also to provide a free to access app for our workforce to be able to report instances of abuse in real time with a “you said, we did” feedback.
At the same time David Foster, HSEQ Director of Carnell, a Tier 2 contractor on the strategic road network and another lead of the Stamp it Out taskforce also said,
”If you value your safety or the safety of friends, relatives or colleagues who work on or around roads in any industry sector please sign the Stamp It Out petition. By signing the petition, you will help us to influence the Government to facilitate change and improve the safety of roadworkers throughout the country.
All of these statements truly show the Stamp it Out campiagn has real support from contractors across the sector.
The culmination of this years inaugural campaign will be our Respect our Roadworkers week – held week commencing 21st June 2021 with summits taking place at the House of Lords hosted by the DfT and a second event in Scotland on 24th June backed by similar authorities north of the border.
To enable those we put to work to show their support for the campaign the collective have produced a poster which can be downloaded from www.stampitout.org which we implore every organisation to display with pride in their tea, mess and briefing rooms as well around the offices.
To support the campaign and sign the petition, click here