Workplace violence Transportation Transportation

Transport workers wear custom vests as part of anti-abuse campaign

Photo: Public Transport Victoria

Victoria, Australia — “Transport workers are people too. Please respect them.”

That request appears alongside the images of Public Transport Victoria workers clad in custom safety vests depicting their life stories. It’s part of a recently launched video campaign aimed at raising awareness of the humanity of transport workers, who are often subjected to verbal or physical abuse because of disruptions, delays or other circumstances typically beyond their control, the agency says.

Four workers share testimonials about hostile experiences on the job before discussing how personal achievements or interests have helped them rise above the abuse.

“People see the uniform and not the person under it,” says Dennis, a services officer. “If people got to know me, they’d see that I’m just a normal bloke who likes to spend time with his family and go camping.”

Public Transport Victoria adds that “psychologists have proven that once you know someone, you treat them with more respect.” By putting images that illustrate its workers’ lives on their vests, the agency aims to have customers and passengers see beyond the uniform.

“I hope if I wear this vest, people will know I have a story,” says Harpreet, a bus driver and accomplished fencer. “They will respect me.”

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