Articles

Complaints

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The Scheme would like to publicise a few more examples of complaints we have received which have been successfully resolved. Nearly all complaints are resolved satisfactorily, with both the construction site and the affected member(s) of the public able to reach an agreement and continue to live and work side by side.

1. A member of the public living opposite a large scale construction site had started to become affected by noise coming from the site which was outside of the agreed working hours of 8am to 6pm. This resulted in the complainant being disturbed early in the morning by operatives setting up and early deliveries to site before 8am. At night, security guards would have loud phone conversations outside of the site so the noise would travel to nearby residential properties which made it difficult to sleep with any windows open.

The site was registered with the Scheme, so the complainant called the freephone number and spoke to our Public Liaison Officer to explain the situation. The complainant was happy to be contacted by the site manager and was later informed of the procedures the site had put in place to resolve the issues raised. To correct the issue of site security guards on the phone at night, the site manager instigated a policy of not allowing any phone calls to be made, or taken, outside of the site office. Site operatives who arrived at work early were instructed not to stand outside of the site and to start preparing for the day inside the site facilities instead. All companies delivering to site were reminded that no deliveries or pick ups would be allowed before the 8am start - any vehicles turning up before then would be turned away.

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2. A supermarket was being built in which the boundaries of the site backed on to a residential property. The complainant called the Scheme to complain that they were unable to sleep as a generator at the back of their property had been left on all night. The Scheme’s Public Liaison Officer called the site manager and explained what had happened, passing him the complainants contact number so he could call them back and explain the situation.

It transpired that the site had accidentally left on the generator which was situated at the back of the complainant’s property and reassured the complainant that this would not happen again. The site manager erected a reminder board to be seen by all operatives, urging them to check that all equipment is turned off before they go home. Since then, the site has ensured that contact information is prominently displayed so that any issues can be quickly resolved by calling the site directly and regular newsletters have been delivered to all local residents, updating them on site developments and activity.

3. A member of the public who lived near a site using two large cranes, spoke to the Scheme’s Public Liaison Officer to say that whenever the cranes were in operation, they would lose TV signal. The complainant’s husband is disabled and she called the Scheme to see if the site could be contacted and asked if there was anything they could do to resolve the problem.

The site manager spoke to the Public Liaison Officer at the Scheme and said he would call the complainant to discuss the situation. A couple of days later, the Scheme received a call from the complainant to say that the site had sent over an engineer who had moved the aerial, and now her and her husband receive a perfect signal on their TV in every room. The complainant was delighted with the response and thanked both the Scheme and site manager for helping her as quickly and efficiently as they had.


4. Though this was technically not a complaint received by the Scheme, a recent article appeared in the newspaper Cambridge News involving two site operatives, working on a registered site, who were suspended for allegedly sexually harassing a female passer-by. A complaint was received from the woman’s husband to the client who informed the contractor. Upon hearing of the news, the contractor immediately suspended the two accused operatives whilst the complaint was investigated.

Scheme Chief Executive, Edward Hardy, commented that this type of behaviour is no longer acceptable and the Scheme takes a very strong line on sexist and abusive behaviour, as it is the actions of the smallest minority of individuals that undermines the very real efforts of the majority to improve the industry’s reputation.

The article carries on to say that upon hearing that the two operatives had been suspended, the complainant was heard to have said that he wasn’t looking for the men to be out of work. Behaviour such as this is completely unacceptable and this stands as a great example of how the construction industry is taking immediate action to improve its image.

Registering with the Scheme requires sites to be considerate towards the environment, the workforce and the general public. If you would like to know more information about the Scheme's complaints procedure, please click here.