Building workers creating Chester's £37m new theatre are reminded to avoid 'industrial language' when projecting their voices off stage.
The construction industry has something of a reputation when it comes to four-letter words and wolf-whistling at passing females but the company building the cultural centre is determined to avoid such dramas.
Notices taped to dining tables in the canteen remind staff that ‘swearing and shouting will not be tolerated anywhere on site’ due to the ‘sensitive surroundings’ of the city centre location and nearby residents in King Street.
Project manager Graham Lister, who works for Cheshire West and Chester Council, told The Chronicle on a recent tour of the site: “The thing is you have got residents just here so things are very different on big construction sites now.
“You can’t have swearing and shouting and shouting at people on the street and all that sort of stuff. The industry has changed.”
Kier Group Plc is building the cultural centre, named Storyhouse, which will now open to the public in spring 2017 following a slight delay in the schedule.
As an associate member of the Considerate Constructors Scheme, Kier is committed to minimising the impact of its operations on the environment and communities in which it works.
And the scheme’s website has a section focused on how ‘inappropriate, offensive and foul language’ used in the construction industry ‘could cause offence to both those working on site and anyone passing-by’.
It cites a 2014 survey answered by over 500 construction professionals that revealed sexist, racist, and homophobic language ‘is not simply still a problem on sites and in the construction industry as a whole, but is unfortunately still quite prevalent’.
Alan Smith, director of corporate responsibility at Kier, said: “Kier Group plc and all of our operating companies are committed to improving our own as well as the industry’s reputation and image by minimising the impact of our operations on the environment and the communities in which we work.
“Our associate membership of the scheme provides us with a robust framework in which to achieve these objectives and also helps us to improve our performance as considerate constructors through the sharing of best practice both within the group and with our fellow associate members.”