Health & Safety Cuts ‘Time Bomb’
Posted by Tracy Seward
Reports in the national press suggest that a former government adviser has warned the UK construction industry of ‘time bomb’ from health and safety cuts.
A report in the Guardian recently stated that site-related deaths have doubled recently in London, where the construction industry is growing strongly during the recovery.
Baroness Donaghy has argued that inexperienced workers are being recruited to work on major building projects in London at a time when “safety standards are being run down”.
The Baroness who wrote the report, One Death Too Many, for the last Labour government, said there is a severe risk of a rise in deaths and serious injuries as building activity picks up during the recovery.
Donaghy told the Guardian she was “appalled” by a 35% cut in the budget of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2011 after she called in her March 2010 report for more funding to allow it to function properly as a regulator.
She predicted that companies would cut corners and that accidents and deaths would increase adding: “If there is an upturn, as is obviously happening in London, there is a danger that skills have been lost during the recession, and people who are insufficiently skilled will be taken on. And that’s when the deaths and accidents will start taking place.
“I do believe that if the recession is ending, the number of accidents will increase. Is it a ticking time bomb? Possibly right, yes. There is a real danger, without a well-resourced HSE, that corners will be cut.”
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