Didcot underlines the dangers of the construction industry

The unplanned collapse of Didcot Power station in Oxfordshire on Tuesday Feb 23rd at 4pm, resulting in one fatality, three workers still missing and five others in hospital, highlights the dangers inherent in the construction industry.

In most industries everyone who sets off for work is assured of returning home at the end of the day. This isn’t true of the construction industry. Men and women working in the construction industries work in an environment increasingly controlled by health and safety regulation – and for good reason – because construction is the most dangerous of workplaces.

The collapse of Didcot power station on Tuesday illustrates the ongoing perilous nature of the industry. Four demolition workers didn’t return home on Tuesday night, five are seriously injured and 47 were treated for serious dust inhalation.

In 2014/15 the number of construction workers killed at work was 35. Construction is by far the most dangerous industry in the UK.

This accident at Didcot Power station is potentially the worst construction incident since January 2011 when four workers in Great Yarmouth died following the collapse of a steel structure they were erecting.

UCATT Acting General Secretary, Brian Rye, said: “We don’t yet know all the details of what happened at Didcot – but we need to know. Our thoughts are with the families of the workers who are dead, currently missing or in hospital. In 21st century Britain, everyone should be coming home from work safe and sound at the end of the day. There is no reason for it to be otherwise. This is what our union, UCATT, is dedicated to achieve. Our industry can be dangerous, we all know that. Which is why it is paramount that safety guidelines are followed religiously by employers and employees alike.”


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