Is Health And Safety Lax In The Construction Sector?
12th December 2013
With the construction sector consistently seeing a high number of accidents at work compensation claims, our personal injury solicitors are concerned by reports from the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT) that show the region of Kent has seen a dramatic increase in the number of deaths caused by construction workplace accidents.
In 2011 to 2012, there was just one construction sector death in Kent, but in 2012 to 2013, this figure rose to four. This is particularly disturbing, as across the whole of the South East, there were only five construction deaths over the year.
Furthermore, the number of fatal workplace accidents the construction sector sees dec;lined over the year, with 2011 to 2012 seeing 49 fatalities in the industry, compared with 390 in 2011 to 2012.
UCATT London and South East Regional Secretary Jerry Swain pointed out that every single death the construction sector has seen has been an “individual tragedy”.
Someone went to work one day, expecting a normal day at the workplace and expecting to come back home fit and healthy, but instead, they died at work. Every time this happens, it is a tragedy, but in one financial year, this tragedy struck families in Kent a total of six times.
Our no win no fee solicitors know how easy it is to ensure the wellbeing of workers in the construction sector. While we admit there are a lot of unique dangers these employees face, these dangers are always completely foreseeable, and in the overwhelming majority of cases in which construction sector workers have suffered severe workplace injuries, these injuries have been entirely avoidable.
Falls From Height In The Construction Sector
The largest risk to construction sector employees, for many years, has been that posed by falls from height. In 2012 to 2013, this was the cause of 23 people’s death – that is, 23 people who never returned home from work, and 60% of all deaths recorded in the sector.
Our personal injury solicitors are appalled by the consistently high number of accident at work claims from the construction sector caused by falls from height. It is shocking that so many employers appear happy to send their employees to work at elevated platforms without any consideration of safety measures, with this negligence causing a huge number of workplace accidents and an unacceptable number of workplace deaths.
But UCATT pointed out that the number of construction sector accidents at work could be set to rise in the near future. The construction sector in particular has struggled to recover since the global financial meltdown and the credit crunch, although many other industries have managed to return to health. If the construction sector makes a full recovery, and if health and safety standards in the industry do not see a corresponding improvement, then construction sector workers may face additional dangers every working day. Employers don’t want to wait until they’re facing Clearwater Solicitors in an accident at work compensation claim – implementing health and safety standards in the core of the business is all that is required.