Imagine having eggs or bottles thrown at you, being the target of regular verbal abuse, or people literally trying to run you over – just for doing your job. Physical and mental abuse is an unfortunate reality for road workers, despite the fact they are responsible for maintaining safety while our road and other infrastructure is being built or repaired.
Each year, an estimated 100 road workers in Australia face physical abuse and, on average, one will be killed while doing their job. Add constant verbal abuse, and the unacceptable behaviour of motorists towards road workers is causing them anxiety, stress and other mental health issues, to the point where many are reporting being reluctant to go to work or being in fear of their safety at work.
The result of this abuse is that road workers are more likely to make mistakes, meaning the people they are paid to protect – the motoring public – are jeopardising their own and road workers’ safety at the same time. The other irony, of course, is those venting their frustration are the ones who will benefit from new roads being built or infrastructure being repaired.
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