The TUC has called on employers and the Government to join unions in helping clean up the construction industry’s poor safety record.
Last year, 80 people were killed on building sites, more than in any other industry. The TUC also says that every month 50 former construction workers die from exposure to asbestos.
To combat this they have issued an action plan, which will be submitted to Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott at next week’s national construction summit.
Key elements include a "respect for builders" campaign, including naming and shaming of companies with bad safety conduct, improvement notices, to notify employers formally that safety rules are being breached.
The TUC also wants a whistleblowers hotline set up so that people can more easily report breaches of safety laws,
It also recommends union safety training on site with the aim of ensuring that by 2004, every building site has a safety competence certificate.
By Paul Nelson