A NEW survey carried out among Sellafield staff has revealed that nine per cent of those who responded feels bullied or harassed.

The company was hit by criticism last year after the results of an equality, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I) survey in autumn 2017 revealed a quarter of its workforce believed bullying was tolerated at the site.

Since then, the company launched a campaign to clamp-down on the malpractice.

The results of the latest ED&I survey, which was carried out in 2019, were circulated to staff and handed to The Whitehaven News last week.

Sellafield employs around 10,000 people and 5,495 responded to the latest survey.

A similar number of people had responded to the previous one.

A Sellafield Ltd spokesman said: “We are committed to ensuring Sellafield is a place where people are respected, included, and able to perform at their best.

“That’s why we launched an equality, diversity, and inclusion programme focusing on mental health and wellbeing, and addressing bullying and harassment in the workplace.

“To underpin our work in this area, we conduct regular surveys of our workforce.

“In October 2019, we carried out an employee feedback survey to help understand the progress we were making and where we needed to focus our efforts.

“This week, we have shared the results with our workforce.

“The results show we are making progress since our first survey of this kind in 2017, but there are areas that continue to require improvement.

“These include ensuring our policies, procedures and processes support our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

“We will now review our programme to address these issues, ensuring the learning from this survey is incorporated. We will continue our work to draw a line under bullying and harassment at Sellafield.”

The survey asks workers to answer the statement: “I am not bullied or harassed.”

Ninety-one per cent of respondents confirmed they are not bullied or harassed, meaning the remaining nine per cent feel they are.

The company introduced this as a new question in 2019, so this result cannot be compared to previous years.

The survey also revealed a 32 per cent improvement in the ability to openly discuss issues around mental health.

However, there was a two per cent drop (from 80 per cent to 78 per cent) in the number of people who say they would feel able to tell their manager that they are suffering with stress without fear of negative consequences.

Jon Seddon, director, finance and business ED&I sponsor at Sellafield, said: “Our work to make equality, diversity and inclusion a focus is not a fad nor a short-term initiative.

“It’s not something we’re doing to tick a box, nor ensure compliance.

“It’s something we’re doing because we believe it’s the right thing to do – for our employees, our business, our stakeholders and our communities.”

He added: “The only way we can ensure that all employees are able to perform at their best is by listening to people, helping understand the barriers to this. Our employees’ views are essential."