Construction workers in London are experiencing the highest level of bullying compared to the rest of the UK

The results of a nationwide survey for Anti-Bullying Week (Monday 15 to Friday 19 November), come as poor mental health in the construction industry reaches a record high, with over half of UK construction workers reporting mental health problems in last year.

Despite the construction industry’s continued efforts to tackle the growing problem and raise awareness of the problems, the number of reports of bullying is increasing with 1 in 5 construction workers who have been bullied in the last year alone.

The Mental Health in the Construction Industry survey found that workers had reported a higher number of bullying cases in London compared to the rest of the UK, where 50% of 21-24 year olds were worst affected.

The data were collected by London’s plant rental specialists Herts Tools, who studied staff from 88 construction companies in the UK to highlight the effects of poor mental health in the industry.

With the construction and craft industries still leaning towards “maning up” or “cracking further” as solutions to mental health problems, only 7% of workers raised feelings of poor mental health with HR. Shockingly, when problems arose with their management team, only 6% said they had adequate mental health support from their managers.

Surveyed workers also noted that the industry could improve its approach to confidentiality, with 56% of bullied employees wanting more privacy over issues raised. Even those who had not personally been bullied believed that more could be done to improve the confidentiality of sensitive, personal issues (36%).

Stefano Lobban, director of Herts Tools, said:

“The UK construction industry is still experiencing a mental health crisis: workers continue to demonstrate an ‘suck it up and deal with it’ approach to poor mental health.

“The results of our study highlight that workplaces could do more. They could encourage suffering workers to step forward and share their experiences of poor mental health and / or bullying by having more confidentiality measures in place. Companies could look at that. invest in workplace surveys, private spaces and more wellness measures to enable employees to share personal issues in a safe and supportive environment.

“We just hope companies take these new numbers as a warning and address their own workplace culture so that these difficult and sensitive issues can be discussed.”

Kasia Richter, founder of Wellbeing Strategist, said:

“Harmless joking is when enjoyed by both parties. Teasing can be a way to build bonds by sharing experiences and exchanging thoughts and feelings in a way that is mutually accepted. Bullying starts when boundaries of respect are exceeded, and certainly Behavior is harmful, causing negative emotions such as emotional pain, sadness, guilt or shame.

“To tackle any mental health problem, we need to know what exactly we are dealing with. Therefore, the first step should be to learn and discover what the specific problems are. Communication with employees is crucial to this. It is necessary. to create a culture of openness and support so that employees can start sharing.

“In addition, access to confidential information should be controlled and persons handling confidential information should be properly selected, trained and supported / monitored. The corporate culture should include a code of ethics, which should be made clear from the outset. ”

Ian Hurst, co-founder of We are Hummingbird, said:

“In relation to bullying, I think it is important to take into account the individual’s feelings. In the end, it comes down to the person. If the person feels that they have been put in a difficult situation, or embarrassed, or emotionally offended or influenced by what has been said to them, then it should be taken seriously by the organization and classified as bullying. Steps must then be taken in a formal process, through HR, to deal with what has happened, with the process formally logged and registered.

“If workplaces want to tackle bullying, they must create a corporate culture where complaints about bullying are taken seriously. Any complaints should be dealt with in a structured, formal approach and no apologies can be made for individuals. Comments like ‘Oh, that’s just the way he is’ are not helpful and harmful behavior should not be tolerated no matter how senior the person is.

“There should be a point of contact within any organization that the individual can approach with any concerns, complaints or concerns about bullying. They should be open and accommodating so that employees feel they can discuss things that are bothering them in confidence. ”

Where can construction workers seek professional support?
Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity
The charity has been providing charitable welfare and support to the construction industry since 1956. The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity is funded by industry to industry.

Friends in mind

Mates in Mind is a leading UK charity that raises awareness and addresses the stigma of poor mental health. We promote and lead the development of positive mental well-being in the workplace. Mates in Mind works across industries with a focus on construction, as well as related sectors, including transportation, logistics, manufacturing and others.

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