MATES in Construction recently commissioned a review in correspondence with Central Queensland University looking into Workplace Bullying in the Construction Industry. More specifically, the report looks into the impacts that workplace bullying has on physical and mental health and the interventions that can be made as acts of prevention and resolution.
Central Queensland University together with MATES in construction devised a proposal that outlined two key activities, to conduct a review on the individual and organizational impacts of workplace bullying and the interventions that can be made in relevance of this. The objective of this review and research is to build on previous research to ultimately inform, educate and address Workplace bullying in order to reduce and minimize its impacts as a psychological hazard that is a risk to health and safety, as a positive influence for change.
To firstly define ‘Workplace Bullying’, according to the Fair Work Act Section 789FD, the report concludes the definition as ‘when an individual or group of individuals repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards a worker or group of workers at work AND that behavior creates a risk to health and safety’.
The Fair Work Commission stated that some of the elements which constitute workplace bullying the form of repeated unreasonable behavior were: shouting, threats, sarcasm, intimidation, harassment, singling-out, disrespect, mocking, discrimination, victim-blaming, pranks, physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, ganging-up, isolation, conspiracy to harm, terrorizing and unreasonable work expectations.
The review is a combination of over 40 peer-reviewed studies of the impacts and interventions of workplace bullying, along with a number of different methods of research, such as conducting questionnaires of individuals within construction and mining industry.
The results of the review were as follows –
Impacts of Workplace Bullying in the Construction Industry:
Interventions of Workplace Bullying in the Construction Industry:
Approaches for the prevention and regulation of Workplace Bullying are categorized typically in 3 different grades; primary, secondary and tertiary.
In some cases, it was reported that 56% of participants had or were experiencing workplace bullying, which is an unnerving statistic given the devastating impacts these occurrences can behold. This highlights the importance of interventions and raising awareness of how to prevent workplace bullying and likewise how to recognize and act accordingly once workplace bullying has occurred. An increased awareness of workplace bullying will only have a positive impact on all levels, not only for the well-being of the individual, but for the wellbeing of the business as a whole.
Written by Sophie Cunningham; 3rd November 2020