Toxic cultures can fester in all sorts of environments, and fire services are no exception. In the first annual report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, inspectors found that 24 per cent of staff had felt bullied or harassed in their workplace in the last 12 months, with this proportion rising to nearly half in one fire service.
They also found cases of discrimination and intimidation, leading to Chief Inspector Sir Thomas Winsor to call for a code of ethics - as though more process and documentation will sort it all out.
That’s been the answer to toxic workplace culture for years and yet rarely does it change.
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