A key problematic issue identified in the building industry is bullying. Bullying has been linked to depression and a high suicide rate in the construction industry. In this post I attempt to discuss the problem of workplace harassment and how to deal with it, an issue particularly relevant in the macho, male dominated industry.

It is important when discussing harassment or bullying in the workplace to first identify what it actually entails for example sometimes people may mistake direction or correction by their employer as bullying when in fact they are simply doing their job. When these employers or supervisors begin to use derogatory language or be abusive or behave in an intimidating way then it crosses over into bullying. It is important for workers to recognise the difference.

Workplace harassment is:

  • repeated, unwelcome and unsolicited
  • the person considers to be offensive, intimidating, humiliating or threatening
  • a reasonable person would consider to be offensive, humiliating, intimidating or threatening.

Source: http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/hazards/harassment-bullying/index.htm

Harassment or bullying in the workplace can be committed by employers, workers, co-workers, groups of people at work, customers and even members of the public.

Workers that bully and intimidate others are most commonly experiencing some sort of emotional problem themselves which they project onto others. These individuals as well as those who are the victims of bullying need to seek help from a counsellor or mental health professional, instead of attempting to deal with this issue themselves because this is what often leads to depression and suicide.

For more information on workplace bullying and harassment visit http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/hazards/harassment-bullying/index.htm


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