The government should set up a fund similar to the model of the Pension Protection Fund, to compensate the families of workers killed in the construction industry, MPs have suggested, after a 25% rise in the number of deaths in the sector.
Under current rules, many families are denied compensation because companies go into liquidation, rather than pay compensation.
Labour MP Michael Clapham called for a Parliamentary debate after the publication of a report by construction union Ucatt, which revealed that convictions following deaths in the construction industry had fallen by 75% between 1998 and 2004.
In 2006-07, however, annual deaths rose to 79 in construction, an increase of 25% on the previous year.
Stephen Hepburn MP, a construction worker before entering Parliament, described the fines imposed on companies following a workers death as “paltry”.
Alan Ritchie, general secretary of Ucatt, said: “The parliamentary debate underlines the appalling loss of life, which routinely occurs in the construction industry. Lives are lost on an almost daily basis and the issue is never discussed or mentioned in the media.”