Statistics from the Highways Agency have shown that injuries to road workers have more than doubled between 2005 and 2009.

It has been said that the road is the most dangerous workplace with hundreds killed in road accidents whilst either working on the roads or travelling as part of their jobs.

In an ideal world, road workers would be protected by having the roads they are working on closed to non works traffic but this is rarely possible. Working on a road with moving traffic a few feet away leaves road workers vulnerable to injury from passing vehicles.

Dangers faced by Road Workers

One of the main dangers faced by road workers is injury by vehicles whose drivers ignore reduced speed limits which are normally put in place to protect the road workers. A BBC team investigating this problem recently filmed motorists speeding past road works in a 50mph zone at speeds of up to 77mph.

Being involved in a road traffic collision with a vehicle travelling at this speed can only result in very serious injuries or fatality.

Barriers are easily swept aside by a fast moving vehicle that loses control and one of the only protections for road workers, is an impact protection vehicle designed to act as a ‘cushion’ if hit by another vehicle, protecting the workers behind it, who are often working in the open who are as vulnerable as pedestrians.

Respect Road Workers

When appealing for all motorists to respect road workers and the job they do to keep the roads in a good state of repair, the Highways Agency has released the following rules for motorists to follow:

1. Keep within the speed limit - it is there for your safety.
2. Get into the correct lane in good time - don't keep switching.
3. Concentrate on the road ahead, not the road works.
4. Be alert for works traffic leaving or entering road works.
5. Keep a safe distance - there could be queues in front.
6. Observe all signs - they are there to help you.