Call For Better Construction Safety

Report On Deaths On Building Sites


A report into the underlying causes of fatal accidents in the construction industry has been published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The document 'One Death Too Many' has called for a series of changes to be made to construction safety in order to reduce the number of deaths on building sites.

Recommendations by the reports author Rita Donaghy, former Chair of Acas, include extending the Gangmasters Licensing Act to cover the construction industry, and the creation of laws to make company bosses directly responsible if a worker is killed because of safety breaches.

Official figures show 53 construction workers died in 2008/9, down from 72 recorded in 2007/08. However, the report says more must be done to reduce this figure to zero.

Commenting on the report, Yvette Cooper, secretary of state for Work and Pensions, said: "Despite the welcome recent fall in construction fatalities, any death or major injury is a tragedy for individuals, their families and their colleagues, and more work is needed to bring the number of accidents down."

The DWP will now consult with the Health and Safety Executive, the industry, trade unions and other relevant Government Departments to fully consider all the recommendations before responding.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “My experience, leading Irwin Mitchell's workplace injury team is that far too many people are being injured or killed following an accident at work on a construction site.

“It should be remembered that the construction industry is the industrial sector where a worker is more likely to lose his life following an accident at work.

“I would welcome any initiative aimed at reducing the misery caused by such accidents.”