Construction staff at high risk of fatal accidents

Workers
in construction and agriculture are seven times more likely to die at work than
the average worker, according to figures published by the Health & Safety
Executive.

Of
the 249 fatalities to employees, 79 were construction workers and 39 were
agriculture workers.

Despite
a reduction in the total number of fatalities, the Transport & General
Workers Union said workers in construction and agriculture are still facing
fatal risks that could be avoided.

Bob
Blackman, T&G national secretary for construction, said: "Too many
construction companies are putting the lives of their employees at risk. Only
this year, the HSE surveyed sites in London and had to issue prohibition
notices on more than half of them. These places were so dangerous, work had to
be stopped immediately.

"The
really tragic thing about these deaths is that they are avoidable. Penalties on
companies should be much tougher, with a minimum fine set high enough to ensure
companies act responsibly."

By Quentin Reade

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