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Balfour Beatty worker tells of baseball bat attack

A Balfour Beatty roadworker in Southampton was attacked with a baseball bat by a driver attempting to get via a highway closure, it has emerged.

The incident was highlighted by the agency and Southampton Metropolis Council as a part of an try to stamp out abuse of roadworkers.

A survey by the Highways Service Partnership, which is comprised of Balfour Beatty Dwelling Locations and the native authority, discovered that half of its staff had reported a case previously 12 months, with 58 per cent saying the abuse had taken place at the very least month-to-month.

Balfour Beatty reactive-maintenance supervisor Brenton McClean stated: “In a single state of affairs a person wished to get via a highway closure. He attacked my colleague, hitting him with a baseball bat – me and 4 or 5 of my different colleagues needed to restrain him whereas we waited for the police to reach.”

The van driver claimed to stay on the opposite facet of the closure however, when requested, couldn’t title his handle. Police later confirmed he was not a resident, McClean stated.

He added: “It was simply terrible. It wouldn’t occur exterior of different individuals’s work, however after we’ve acquired our hi-vis on we actually grow to be a goal.

“It’s affected my psychological well being vastly.”

Different cases of abuse have concerned verbal and bodily threats, objects together with boundaries and cones being hurled at staff, and drivers mounting pavements to keep away from highway closures.

Three years in the past it was revealed that throughout the then Highways England community there have been 330 incidents of roadworker abuse reported between September 2019 and October 2020 (the latest 12 months for which information on roadworker abuse was collected), averaging almost as soon as on daily basis. 

Balfour Beatty Dwelling Locations contract director Brian Hammersley stated: “Roadworkers are a workforce who’re no completely different to anybody else; we’ve got households, associates and emotions, similar to anybody else.”

Southampton Council stated it had a “zero-tolerance coverage” relating to the abuse of staff.

Building Information contacted Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary for additional remark.