Rise in construction deaths sends chill through the industry

Construction union UCATT are warning that the latest fatality figures, that show an increase in construction deaths, could mark the beginning of a steady rise in fatalities.

Despite the overall number of workplace fatalities in 2013/14 reaching an all-time low the number of construction deaths increased to 42. This is an 8 per cent increase on the previous year when 39 construction workers suffered fatal injuries.

UCATT have continually warned that rising workplace activity resulting in an increased number of inexperienced companies and workers entering the industry, together with the Government’s attacks on the Health and Safety Executive and safety laws, is making the industry more dangerous.

Steve Murphy General Secretary of UCATT, said: “Each of these deaths was a terrible tragedy where someone’s loved one went to work one day and never came home. Sadly in the vast majority of cases these fatalities could have been easily prevented.”

Mr Murphy added: “The rise in fatalities should send a chill through the industry and it corresponds with a very modest upturn in construction. All the previous evidence shows that as the industry gets busier deaths and accidents increase. These dangers are being exacerbated by the massive cuts that the Government have made to the HSE’s budget and their continued attack on safety laws and regulations.”

Mr Murphy further added: “Rather than cutting safety laws the Government should be taking action to ensure that proper measures are introduced to punish employers who are prepared to risk the lives of their workers.”

 

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