A fifth of UK electricians are abused by customers every working day

A fifth of UK electricians are abused by customers every working day

Did you know a fifth of UK electricians are abused by customers every working day? Check out these shocking statistics…

  • One in five (20%) experience abuse from customers every single day
  • One in ten (10%) have been physically attacked
  • Female tradespeople receive more regular abuse, but men are sexually harassed more often

Almost nine in ten (86%) UK tradespeople have been abused at work by customers, with swearing, threatening messages and even physical attacks common in the industry, new research has revealed.

The study1 was conducted by IronmongeryDirect, the UK’s largest supplier of specialist ironmongery, after its Mental Health in the Trades report2 found customer tensions and abuse are among the leading causes of stress.

Swearing and insults (34%) are the most common form of abuse, but one in ten (10%) tradespeople have been physically attacked by a client, and one in 14 (7%) have been sexually harassed.

The intimidation continues even after workers have left a job, with one in seven (14%) receiving aggressive text messages or calls.

Such behaviour means many tradespeople have felt unsafe (16%) or threatened (13%) at work, and one in eight (12%) have felt stressed, depressed or anxious because of heated exchanges.

Sadly, incidents like these are happening on a regular basis, with one in five (20%) experiencing customer abuse every single working day, and more than a third (34%) are berated every week.

While both male and female tradespeople are victimised, the type of abuse they receive varies. Women are more likely to be sworn at or insulted (37%) and receive threatening messages (18%), but men are more commonly on the end of physical attacks (10%) and sexual harassment (8%).

Overall, tradeswomen are abused by customers more regularly, with almost a quarter (23%) being mistreated every day, compared to 19% of men.

Age is also a factor, with younger workers generally most likely to be targeted. Gen Z (18-24 year olds) and millennial (25-34s) tradespeople receive the most insults, threats and sexual remarks. However, customers are most likely to threaten to withhold payment when it is an older tradesperson (over 65) in their home (16%).

Furthermore, some trades receive more abuse than others. While bricklayers experience incidents most frequently, with over half (56%) abused daily, carpenters are the most likely to be physically attacked (21%), and plumbers suffer the most sexual harassment (17%).

Almost one in five (19%) electricians are abused each day, with 9% having been attacked and 7% having been sexually harassed.

The UK trades most likely to receive daily customer abuse are:
1) Bricklayer – 56%
2) Builder – 24%
3) Plumber – 22%
4) Plasterer – 20%
5) Joiner – 20%
6) Building surveyor – 19%
7) Electrician – 19%
8) Carpenter – 16%
9) Painter decorator – 14%
10) Landscaper – 7%

For more information: https://www.ironmongerydirect.co.uk/blog/confrontational-customers

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