According to a survey of almost 1,300 staff conducted by the GMB union with the results reported in the Guardian, more than one in three UK water employees have been verbally abused at work.

The results show that

  • Workers complained that they had faced “very hostile” abuse from the public
  • One employee said they had stopped interacting with members of the public after a colleague was “violently assaulted and was off work for weeks with a broken jaw” and another claimed an employee was attacked with a machete.
  • Another said they had been “physically assaulted by minors while shutting down a vandalised fire hydrant while their parents stood laughing”.
  • An employee, who now refuses to wear clothing with the company logo, wrote of an alleged incident where colleagues were dealing with a sewage spill in a road. “Drivers were purposefully splashing staff with sewage. He was soaked. It was in his eyes and face. Appalling and disgusting behaviour by the public,” they said.

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