Companies prosecuted in fewer than 50% of construction deaths

A Freedom of Information Request by construction union UCATT has revealed that companies are prosecuted in fewer than half of deaths that take place in the construction industry.

The request to the Health and Safety Executive showed that, of the 332 fatal accidents involving construction workers between 2004/05 and 2008/09, just 154 (46%) led to a prosecution.

Steve Murphy, general secretary of UCATT, said: “These are truly shocking figures. The fact that in the majority of cases no prosecution has ever been brought is shameful.”

The union had not requested figures for more recent years, as it typically takes up to four years between the death of a worker and a case coming to court.

The union has also warned workers to make sure their protective equipment is genuine, following fresh concerns that fake safety equipment is being distributed.

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