UCATT demands change of culture following leaked Crossrail safety report

Construction union UCATT are stepping up pressure to improve safety with Crossrail and their contractor (Balfour Beatty Morgan Vinci) BBMV following the leaking of a report into safety on Crossrail.

Although the report was originally compiled in March 2013 UCATT members and representatives have reported that there has been no visible improvement in safety and morale on the project.

UCATT are particularly concerned that workers are operating in a highly intimidating atmosphere, which results in workers not reporting accidents, near misses or dangerous working conditions as they fear to do so will result in them being laid off.

Jerry Swain UCATT Regional Secretary for the London and South East Region, said: “Employers need to understand that the perception of being victimised for reporting safety concerns is very serious, whether this is actually the reality or not.”

UCATT has made significant progress in recent months with other major contractors involved in the Crossrail project and has seen the election of stewards and safety reps and the creation of safety committees. All of these elements are essential in improving workplace safety.

Mr Swain added: “We are seeking a meeting with BBMV to clarify how consultation is undertaken with workers on safety and how UCATT can be further involved in ensuring the project is delivered safely. Given previous problems, workers are more likely to speak to a union safety rep about safety concerns then go directly to management.”

UCATT are also seeking further information about the secret recording and emailing of workers that was occurring on the project and whether this practice is still continuing.

Mr Swain added: “Secretly filming workers is an infringement of their civil liberties. Workers have a right to know when they are possibly being filmed, particularly when such footage is shown to employers.”

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