Resentment builds in construction site safety row

A
row has erupted between the TUC and the Construction Confederation over a new
pilot scheme aimed at improving safety throughout the industry.

George
Brumwell, speaking on behalf of the TUC, 
blasted the confederation calling it the "pariah of the safety
world" over its refusal to take part in the Work Safety Adviser pilot
scheme.

"Forty-eight
building workers were killed on sites in the first half of this year, but the
construction confederation isn’t even willing to try out a new way of doing
things," he said.

"The
confederation obviously never intended to allow these pilots to take place and
it has acted in staggering bad faith by stringing everyone along."

The
scheme, which has the backing of the HSE and the CBI, would test the idea of
union reps visiting sites to help encourage closer working between employers
and the workforce on crucial safety issues.

The
TUC has also accused the confederation of anti-union bigotry and vowed to press
ahead with the pilot scheme.

However
the CC hit back, claiming that it had opposed the scheme from the outset rather
than pulling out at the last minute.

CC
chief executive Stephen Radcliffe said that site-based safety officers were a
better option than reps with limited knowledge of the local environment and
questioned how results of the proposed scheme would be measured.

"We
are surprised and disappointed by the language which has been used by the TUC
as we have consistently explained why we could not support the WSA
proposal," he said.

www.tuc.org.uk
www.constructionconfederation.co.uk

By Ross Wigham

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