Workers need to consider their own safety after Stockport fatality

Construction union UCATT have reminded workers that they need to consider their own safety and should refuse to place themselves in danger at work.

UCATT made the call following a fatal accident which occurred on Manchester Road, Heaton Norris on Tuesday (21st January). Work was being undertaken demolishing an industrial unit when at 9.15am police and paramedics were called after a worker fell through the roof. The worker was taken to hospital and is in a serious but stable condition. At 3.55pm the police and paramedics were again called to the same site, as another worker had fallen through the same roof, he was taken to hospital where he sadly died.

Andy Fisher, Regional Secretary of UCATT’s North West Region, said: “This is a tragic accident and our thoughts are with the loved ones of the worker who has died.”

Last year (2012/13) a total of 39 workers were killed in the construction industry of these deaths 60% were a result of falls from height.  UCATT believes that the vast majority of construction deaths can be easily prevented.

There were 2 construction deaths in the North West last year (2012/13) compared to 7 in the previous recording year.

Mr Fisher added: “Workers who are concerned that they are being placed in a dangerous situation have the right to refuse work. The challenge is to give workers the confidence to be able to refuse to place themselves in danger.”

Factors that can result in workers undertaking work in dangerous conditions include:
• A fear that if they refuse to undertake the work they will be dismissed. This is especially the case with falsely self-employed workers, who can be dismissed without warning.
• The macho culture that exists in the construction industry where a refusal to undertake work is considered a sign of weakness.
• A lack of support and with no obvious organisation that they can turn to for advice. This is especially the case in workplaces where there is no union presence.

UCATT are urging that if construction workers are concerned that they are being placed in a dangerous situation to contact the union.

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