Bear Scotland has said it has introduced a range of protective measures for its workers who are regularly abused while working on the country’s roads.
In the Highlands one member of staff was even struck by a bottle of urine while working at Corpach near Fort William.
The government roads agency said it has had enough of attacks on its staff, and is rolling out CCTV cars, body-cams, dashcams and incursion alarms in order to protect its workforce.
It says that as well as verbal abuse being hurled at road workers, drivers regularly run red lights and speed through roadworks putting staff at risk.
In the last year alone, 18 “incursions” have been recorded.
Of those, 12 motorists were reported to the police and several charged, including a drunk driver and a driver who tested positively for cocaine use.
In another incidents, two people were seriously hurt.
‘Playing Russian roulette with workers’ lives’
A survey of road workers found that 76% had seen vehicles jump red lights in areas where they were working: while 57% witnessed a near-miss with a vehicle on-site.
Duncan Crilley, operations supervisor at Bear Scotland who is based in Corpach, said: “Every day my traffic management team is phoning the police because somebody has jumped lights or tried to race through convoy setups.
“It is dangerous. The team don’t have a safety zone around them because it is being controlled by a 10-mile-an-hour traffic limit.
“You will always get one driver who thinks they can catch up with the convoy by breaking the speed limit and driving through the cones or barriers.
“One of my team got hit like this two years ago. The driver got out of his car and shouted abuse at the team.
“Drivers get abusive. They shout and swear. They throw objects at us.
“I have been hit by a bottle of urine before. I am thankful it wasn’t open. It caught my back and it hurt.”
To minimise risks to workers, Bear Scotland has implemented the use of CCTV vehicles, dashcams, bodycams and incursion alarms to help protect them.
It keeps workers safe and also gives the police evidence if a collision or incident takes place.
Sandra Wilson, health, safety, and risk manager at Bear Scotland, said: “We hope that, if the public is increasingly aware these measures are in place, it will deter them from taking risks around roadworks and playing Russian roulette with workers’ lives.”