Comment – A stake through the heart of industry issues…

Awareness alone is not enough to truly combat the issues of bullying, mental health awareness, sexism, racism and homophobia.

During my formative years as a journalist, I was lucky enough to work under two editors that would shape the way in which I worked with and treated others.   My first editor was from the Gordon Ramsay mould: shouty, sweary and given to sudden and unexpected outbursts of rage.   There was not a lever arch file or stapler in his office that was not used as a projectile or weapon at some point.   He was lacking in both humour and humanity.

My second editor was the polar opposite.   His door really was always open (but mainly to allow the sweet-smelling smoke from his pipe to escape) and he was quick with words of encouragement and advice.

Under my first editor, I worked to a strict 8.30 am to 5.30 pm timetable because I could not bear to be in his company any longer than was mandated by my contract.   But I would have gladly walked over hot coals for my second editor – a man called Jerry Gosney, for the record.   While I have, for the most part, avoided employing others during my career, I have always tried to be more like my second editor.

I mention this in light of a new report that says bullying remains prevalent within the construction (and, by association, demolition) industry.

According to that report, approximately one in five construction workers experienced bullying in the past year.

Despite the industry’s continued efforts to tackle mental health issues, an astonishing 21 percent of construction workers were impacted by bullying during the research period.  

The Mental Health in the Construction Industry survey found that only seven percent of workers raised feelings of poor mental health with their HR team.   Shockingly, when issues were raised, only percent said they had sufficient mental health support.

And all of this is taking place at a time when the industry continues to trot out its mental health awareness dogma.

I am now firmly of the belief that the bullying mentality and the addressing of the actual causes of mental health issues are like the baddies from the horror movies of the 1980s.   You can throw everything at them, but they just refuse to die.

Sadly, these particular baddies are not alone.   Like bullying, the issues of sexism racism and homophobia belong to a bygone era.   And yet they also refuse to just lie down and die.

Awareness is not the answer, as those same decades-old horror movies prove.   The villagers living in the shadow of Dracula’s castle were well aware of the evil that lurked within.   They avoided it themselves and they warned others of the fate that might befall them should they venture too close.   But none of that actually addressed the fact that there was a blood-sucking vampire within.

The only way the threat was finally laid to rest was via a wooden stake driven through the heart of the head vampire.

When it comes to bullying, sexism, racism and homophobia, we don’t need the awareness of a fearful local.   We need a socking great wooden stake and the willingness to kill the multi-headed beast once and for all.

The Weekend Wrap #33

A giant awakens in Germany; Hyundai joins the Squid Game; and we ask: Is the Health and Safety Executive fit for purpose?

All that and more, on The Weekend Wrap.

The Break Fast Show #191

In today’s show: CDI topples 21 wind turbines; Caterpillar completes next-gen mini excavator upgrade; Ausa joins the telematics revolution; Blackwood Plant Hire joins the Xwatch revolution; and Manitou upgrades its sense of humour.

All that and more, on the Break Fast Show.

The Break Fast Show #190

In today’s show: Is the HSE even fit for purpose any more?; we’re headed Down Under for a spot of bridge demolition; Doosan underlines its commitment to innovation; we’re talking asset valuation with Ritchie Bros; and the new book has landed

PLUS we play out today with an extended film from Hyundai who have apparently been re-enacting Squid Game only without the death and carnage.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.

A Site for Sore Eyes II…

What do you buy the demolition man or woman in your life this Christmas? How about a copy of A Site for Sore Eyes II by DemolitionNews founder, Mark Anthony?

The brand-new book is a collection of articles, essays and columns from the year 2021 as the demolition industry enjoyed an uptick in workloads offset by the growing threat of materials, skills and fuel shortages and the impending switch to non-fossil fuels.

You can buy it now, of course. But also, don’t forget that Black Friday will soon be upon us so you may be able to bag a bargain if you can bear to wait just a few more days.

You can buy A Site for Sore Eyes II using this link: A Site for Sore Eyes II

The Big Book Review…

What do you buy that demolition or construction man or woman in your life this Christmas? Well, what about one of the seven books featured in this exclusive book review?


You can buy all the books mentioned by using the following links:

The Break Fast Show #189

In today’s show: Teesworks demolition at the double; the unspoken obstacle on the road to zero emissions; Doosan applies the power; and Sir Robert McAlpine seizes the environmental initiative.

PLUS we say a massive congratulations to John Thompson of Thompsons of Prudhoe who has just collected his MBE at Windsor Castle.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.

The Break Fast Show #188

In today’s show: The National Infrastructure Commission is keen on green; a German giant goes to work; we will be braving the elements in the company of a JCB excavator; and we look ahead to the Executive Hire Show 2022.

PLUS we look at the prevalence of bullying within the construction industry; and there’s a sneak preview of tomorrow’s Big Book Review.

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.

Construction’s climate of fear…

A new report says that, despite wider mental health awareness within the sector, bullying remains prevalent in the UK construction industry.

This is a subject we have covered numerous times over the years, most recently in this article from August 2020.

The Break Fast Show #187

In today’s show: Gove grovels over Grenfell gaff; delicate demolition removes the Windscale chimney from the Cumbrian skyline; HMRC confirms there will be no fuel duty relief for HVO; and Hyundai joins Squid Game.

PLUS you can read an exclusive new publication from Dr Terry Quarmby on sustainability through the ages by following this link:

All that and more, on The Break Fast Show.