Health & Safety - Construction Industry Fatalities

A report and recommendations into an Inquiry into the underlying causes of construction fatal accidents were published on 8 July 2009. The Inquiry was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Work & Pensions in December 2008 and arose from concern over the number of construction deaths, to examine what more could be done to tackle the underlying causes.

Rita Donaghy CBE FRSA chaired the Inquiry and her report recommends the introduction of a new legal duty for directors that would ensure good health and safety management.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber, commenting on the Inquiry, said: "This is a strong endorsement of the arguments that the TUC and unions have been making for many years. There is an undeniable case for a change in the law to ensure that directors ensure good health and safety practice through a framework of planning, delivery, monitoring and reviewing.

"Other recommendations in the report, including extending the remit of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to include construction and revising building regulations so that health and safety is considered in building control, will help make construction sites safer places to work.

"The level of fatalities in this sector is totally unacceptable and we hope that the Government will act quickly to fully implement the recommendations contained in this report and so prevent more needless deaths."