Workers need change in attitude

Photos of bad practice

Contract Journal, 14 February 2007
CCS: Workers need change in attitude

The Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) has called for a change in the mindset of construction workers, after CJ exposed a series of YouTube videos apparently showing poor behaviour on site.

CCS general manager Edward Hardy said that however closely employers monitor their workers, it would be difficult to stamp out such behaviour unless workers themselves change their attitude.

The story, which Contract Journal broke last week, garnered wider media attention, with stories appearing in Metro, The Sun, BBC online, BBC Look North, and eventually, other construction titles.

The Sun, 7 February 2007
Outrage at work prank videos

Daft builders have filmed themselves setting each other on fire, diving into wet cement and beating each other with timber.

The workers’ dangerous video pranks have shocked construction bosses who condemned the films as “utterly disgusting”.

Footage includes one contractor – tied up in bubble wrap – before his boots are set ablaze.

“Some of the behaviour shown is criminal assault, breaches of health and safety legislation and bullying. HSE encourages all in the construction industry to condemn such videos and help stamp out this type of unsafe behaviour.”

Another mobile phone film shows a builder taking a spin in a cement mixer.
The videos were discovered after they were posted on YouTube.

Considerate Constructors Scheme general manager Edward Hardy said: “These video clips show actions that are unacceptable and dangerous. Behaviour like this undermines everything that the Scheme stands for and we expect that the management of these sites deal with these incidents with the firmness they deserve.”

The Argus (Brighton), 7 February 2007
Don’t look now, lads, and stop whistling
Builders’ cleavage also banned on posh site

Workmen on a prestige city centre building site have been warned they face the sack if they wolf-whistle at passing women.

Builders’ cleavage has also been outlawed in a crackdown on sloppy dressing.
One workman on the site of an £8.4 million boutique hotel next to flagship Jubilee Library in North Laine, Brighton, told The Argus it was as a sackable offence to whistle at a pretty woman. A notice on the hoardings warned that “lewd or derogatory behaviour and language” would not be tolerated under threat of severe disciplinary action.

It also insisted that respectable standards of dress should be maintained at all times.

Some people branded the whistle crackdown political correctness gone mad, while others supported the ban.

Roseanna Edwards, 34, a civil servant, of Saxon Road. Newhaven, said: “Wolf-whistling is a form of harassment. If they worked in offices they wouldn’t be hanging out of the windows shouting at passers-by. It makes me feel uncomfortable.”
Pam Rothier, a 68 year-old retired bank clerk, of Maresfield Road, Brighton, said: “Blokes used to do it a lot more when I was a young girl, especially if you were wearing a mini skirt. I’ve even heard of them giving girls marks out of ten as they walk past. I don’t think it’s the done thing these days, though. Times have changed, haven’t they? Builders’ bottoms are never a nice thing to look at, though I don’t mind if they take off their shirts – but only if they’re young and handsome.”

[css-quote]Brian Conheady, 40, a salesman of Edinburgh Road, Brighton, said: “Builders’ bottom is a fine British institution and should be preserved for posterity. I’ve never wolf-whistled anyone myself but I don’t think there’s much wrong with it. Perhaps we should wolf-whistle builders’ bottoms.”[/css_quote]

Alastair Boyle, 25, an advertising manager, of Lynton Street, Brighton, said: “No one likes to see a naked fat bottom when they’re walking down the street. Put them away, lads. Wolf-whistling on the other hand, is harmless. It’s just their way of paying a compliment.”
City councillor Paul Elgood said: “It’s a very high-profile site and this area, with the library and the Prince Regent pool, attracts a lot of visitors, families and tourists, so appropriate behaviour should be encourages.”

The tough stance on lewd behaviour was backed by building industry standards watchdog, the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS), to which hotel contractor Willmott Dixon is signed up.

Edward Hardy, general manager of the CCS, said he had received many complaints from women who found being subjected to wolf-whistles, sometimes followed by lewd comments, hugely offensive. He said: “The construction industry is a very professional and well managed industry. However, its image isn’t as good as it should be. Sites should present themselves in a professional manner and that would include the dress code. We would expect that builders are suitably dressed.”