Monday, 23 February 2015


A REPORT COMMISSIONED IN JULY 2009 entitled “ONE DEATH IS TOO MANY” was an inquiry into the underlying causes of construction fatal accidents. 
The report’s Executive Summary said – There is no sense of shock at the regular toll of fatalities in the industry. We should aim to raise the profile of these tragedies so that a construction fatality becomes socially unacceptable.  
What has happened since? Deaths are still treated as normal everyday events.  
 According to Baroness Donaghy’s report the HSE is vitally important in ensuring BOTH compliance and culture change.  Instead of allocating resources to continue to do that work, the HSE budget has been cut by some 38% and Safety regulations have been deregulated. At the Tory party conference David Cameron stated that he believes Health and Safety is a burden on industry.   We disagree. SAFETY LAWS ARE THERE TO SAVE LIVES! 
There is a real fear of going back to the bad old days, which actually were  not so long ago, when 3 Construction workers were killed every week. It has been the work of Safety Campaigners who have fought long and hard to bring these numbers down. WE SAY SAFETY BEFORE PROFITS. 
In 2009 it was revealed that the major construction companies have been blacklisting thousands of construction workers who had dared to speak out over safety issues on sites. Blacklisting has gone on for decades - denying workers and their families the opportunity of work, for some for many years, causing great hardship, resulting in lives being ruined, homes lost and families split up.  
Frank Morris, an electrician on Crossrail, was removed for raising safety concerns in 2012. Following a yearlong campaign Frank was reinstated in 2013. 
Rene Tkacik was fatally injured on 7th March 2014 when he was hit by a section of freshly applied Shotcrete. There have been numerous concerns raised over safety on Crossrail which have been ignored including concerns about Shotcrete. Following Rene’s death a whistleblower compiled a list of accidents and near misses he approached BBMV and Crossrail seeking assurances that steps be taken to avoid any further injuries and deaths, they failed to action his concerns.  He also notified the HSE. 
No one expects that when they go to work they will be killed. 
John McDonnell MP has stated that the bullying management style is jeopardising health and safety. He called for urgent action from the Government, in a letter dated May 2014. 
Cutting safety saves money! That’s not acceptable! It is estimated that over 70% of accidents and deaths are preventable. We are outside today because we care.  We are paying our respects to the family of Rene Tkacik and letting everyone know that CONSTRUCTION FATALITIES ARE UNACCEPTABLE.

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