HTMA Executive Director Asks for Increased Focus on Improvements for the Safety of Road Workers

The HTMA (Highways Term Maintenance Association)’s executive director, Geoff Allister OBE, has asked for increased focus on the improvement of safety for road workers. In the previous year, the Highways Term Maintenance Association held a summit for Road Workers which outlined various challenges which face the industry. According to the executive director, there is already a vast amount of progress when it comes to road worker safety, but there is still a lot of work that needs to be accomplished. 

Nine challenges to improve road worker safety still need to be accomplished

Nine challenges to improve road worker safety still need to be accomplished

Challenges facing road worker safety 

He adds that at the summit, they found that there are still a total of nine challenges or issues which require immediate action. They decided, however, that all these issues could not be solved at the same time, so they focused on three – four main ones. For instance, the executive director adds, data collection is not being done right – both when it comes to consistency and quantity. If there is no proper data, then the wrong problem or issue might be fixed or the issue will not be resolved at all. The executive director emphasises the need to share best practices which will result in a more consistent, reliable approach.


Abuse of road workers

One major issue which was highlighted by the executive director is the abuse of road workers, and the executive director has asked the highways industry to collect as well as give an account of all the incidents related to the abuse of road workers. 

Allister goes on to say that this issue needs to be specifically targeted, although they’ve already had a significant amount of success. They were able to carry out interviews with the media and were also able to work with Highways Magazine in order to raise the issue’s profile. But they need to reach out to more motorists, so they have also been working closely with Transport Focus. Allister adds that the public’s opinion about road workers needs to be changed, but whilst there have been improvements, there’s still a lot of work to be done. 

Two factors, according to the executive director, play a vital role in improving the safety of road workers. One is the procedure of planning various road works and the other is the length of time the road work should be completed. Allister goes on to say that the client plays a role in this, especially in regards to the planning of the road works and their management. For instance, he adds, the client should allow for ample time for the road work to be finished, and the client should also ensure that the provider employs staff who are competent. The client has some major responsibilities in regards to the management of traffic, as there are many instances where the client denies their responsibilities and passes it on to the provider.

Posted on 06 Mar 2017 in News

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