A former advisor to Gordon Brown’s Labour government has said that the construction industry could become a “ticking timebomb” thanks to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) funding cuts.
Baroness Donaghy wrote a well-received report in 2010 that outlined recommendations to reform the sector and make building sites safer, but thus far few, if any of her ideas have become reality. Construction remains the most hazardous sector in the UK, with more than 760 deaths since 2001.
The report suggested that the casual nature of employment within the industry, in which workers frequently move from one job to the next, makes it difficult for health and safety measures to flourish.
With job security lacking, many workers will simply turn a blind eye to their concerns in order to avoid being blacklisted by potential employers.
While deaths and serious accidents on construction sites have fallen in the last few years, this is thought to be partly because of a downturn in work being carried out during the recession. It is feared that the recent drop in casualties will allow companies to become complacent; potentially causing a rise in these incidents once there is an economic upturn.
To make companies more culpable, Donaghy suggested that each company should name directors who would be directly responsible for health and safety failures, and recommended the appointment of a construction minister. She also argued forcefully against cuts to the HSE, which saw its funding decrease by 35% in 2011.
Claiming compensation for construction site accidents
If you are injured in an accident on a building site that was not your fault, Croftons Solicitors may be able to assist you. These incidents can occur for many reasons, from unsafe work environments to a lack of training, so call us 0800 2800 094 to discuss your claim.
We can also provide legal assistance for relatives of those who suffer a fatal accident at work, helping them to identify the responsible party and receive the appropriate compensation.