Think!' says UK's Highways Agency
THE UK's Highways Agency
road workers including construction workers, project managers and
traffic officers are being urged to 'Stop and Think!'
in a bid to drive down workplace accidents.
The initiative, has been launched in the North West as part of the
Highways Agency's ongoing 'Aiming for Zero' campaign
aimed at slashing reportable accident rates among staff and
contractors. It is also being staged to help mark European Week for
Safety and Health at Work.
In 2012 to 2013 nationally one Highways Agency employee was killed,
17 seriously injured and 27 slightly injured; with a further
fatality, 26 serious injuries and 35 slight injuries among
contractors working to help operate, maintain, repair and improve
motorways and major A roads (the strategic roads network). On
Monday, 21 October 2013, the Highways Agency issued CCTV footage
underlining the dangers faced by roadworkers from road users' poor
Earlier this year, with a focus on road users' behaviour, traffic
officers and construction workers across the North West; including
safety barrier maintenance crews, traffic management operatives and
salt spreading crews; spoke of the daily dangers they faced from
Now the same road workers, among them contractors and
sub-contractors delivering repairs and improvements on behalf of the
Highways Agency in the region are being asked to focus on their own
The new Highways Agency 'Stop and Think!'!
campaign is designed to remind road workers; and colleagues; that an
accident free working environment also depends on their own
attitudes and actions as well as those of drivers.
A 'Stop and Think!' workshop at the Highways
Agency's Westhoughton depot, on Thursday, 24 October 2013, they
rounded off the week long national Health and Aafety activities
focusing on workers' behavioural attitudes.
Matt Sweeting, the Agency's regional director for the North West
said:- "We are reminding drivers that they have a
responsibility to keep our road workers free from harm. But most of
this week is about re-focusing our own minds on safety issues and
getting everyone involved in the work of the Highways Agency to
think constantly about theirs and others' safety.
'Stop and Think!' Is about pausing for
a moment when planning or carrying out a survey or making a repair
and considering what risks there might be to health, safety and
wellbeing for everyone involved."
Part of Thursday's workshop they concentrated on sharing best safety
practice. By re-thinking operations; such as the way cones and signs
are laid out. Plus the Agency's 2 service providers for the North
West celebrated more 2 million working hours without a reportable
But that is not all... The Road Worker's Safety Forum (RoWSaF); a
cross industry group led by the Highways Agency; has won a
prestigious international award for helping improve safety at
roadworks including reducing by up to 40 per cent the number of
times road workers have had to cross live carriageways.
Regional traffic officers, project managers from the Highways
Agency's regional office at Piccadilly Gate, main contractors for
the region Balfour Beatty Mott MacDonald and EM Highways Services as
well as other contractors from the Agency's 'supply chain'
such as Tarmac and Chevron attended Thursday's event.
No jobs recovery
in the North West
THE latest labour market
figures show that the North West had the highest increase in
unemployment of any region over the Summer. Unemployment is now at
294,000 (8.6%), up 24,000 over June 2013 to August 2013.
The Office for National Statistics identify a pattern of falling
employment rates in the North West and identify no fall in
unemployment over the past year.
Nationally, there was a small drop in unemployment, but the figures
also show that a record 1.4 million people are working part-time.
Kevan Nelson, Regional Secretary of UNISON North West, said:-
"Nationally, the labour market is failing to deliver decent quality
jobs and there is a growing problem of under employment.
In the North West, we are still seeing a fall in both the quality
and quantity of jobs.
The North West has borne the brunt of the Government's austerity
policies. Public spending cuts have led to job losses and moves to
more precarious, low quality forms of employment. The Government's
policies are failing the people of the North West and this will be
compounded by further Council cuts planned for 2014/15."
Letter to editor:-
"WITH colder weather around the corner, and further gas and
electriCity price rises predicted, millions of people across the UK
will be extremely concerned about how they'll pay their fuel bills
We know that this issue is widespread amongst the people we help,
and our research last winter found that almost two-thirds of people
on low incomes were not sure if they could meet their fuel costs
without experiencing financial hardship. In addition to rising
energy prices, the costs of other everyday essentials are on the
With personal finances being increasingly stretched and in response
to the largest shake-up of the UK benefits system, Turn2us has
launched a new, free and easy-to-use online Benefits Calculator at
benefits.turn2us.org.uk. The new calculator is a vital tool to help
more people access the financial support they may be entitled to.
The calculator helps individuals to find out what welfare benefits
they are entitled to, how much they should receive and how to make a
claim. It also links to our Grants Search tool to help people find
other sources of support from charitable funds.
We urge anyone who is struggling to check their eligibility for
financial help now - it could make all the difference this winter
and beyond." Alison Taylor,
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