Around 2200 road accident where people are injured occur every year at or in road works, so its hardly surprising that road workers involved in highway maintenance are said to have one of the top 20 most dangerous jobs. 18 August 2004, an articulated lorry travelling at 55mph in a 30mph zone ploughed through a line of traffic cones in the Holmesdale Tunnel in Enfield and hit a white works van. The van driver, who was standing next to his van, was crushed against a crash barrier. He died instantly. A fellow worker was luckier, suffering only a broken arm when hit by a traffic zone.
In another accident, on overtaking car hit two road workers as they were painting road markings on the A92 Kirkaldy to Dundee road. The accident occurred on Friday 16 July 2010 just after midnight. These two accidents are example of careless driving but of course not all road workers are killed by motorist. In addition to accident, road workers’ proximity to the general public can also result in them bearing the brunt of abuse and anti-social behaviour. This are the example of such behaviour. “many driver wind down their windows and swear at road workers. And all too often they do not restrict themselves to verbal abuse. They throw cans of drink and even bottles of urine at the road workers.
In 2006, the Transport Minister Stephen Ladyman cited road building as one of the most dangerous jobs. Even earlier, a much-quoted 2002 study by Stephen E Roberts published in The Lancet had put road working as the sixteenth most dangerous occupation. The most prominent causes of accidents are limited work space, unsatisfactory barriers between work and traffic, the ability of the driver, visual contact of the driver with road workers, visual and auditory contact of road worker with traffic and lastly is the ability of the road worker.
In 2006, a report commissioned by the Highways Agency looked into why drivers speed through roadworks. The report focused on higher...