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November 12, 2009

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Government must act on construction report, say campaigners

A construction pressure group has called on the Government to take action on Rita Donaghy’s report on fatalities in the industry.

Ms Donaghy addressed the Construction Safety Campaign’s Annual General Meeting on 14 November, and talked about her report One death is too many’, published in July this year, and in which she makes 28 recommendations on improving the health and safety record in construction.

She said: “Why isn’t a construction fatality on the front pages of every newspaper? Why is it socially acceptable for 50-70 people a year to die at work when the construction industry has achieved so much for our economy? This is an issue we can all unite on — one death is too many.”

The CSC is urging the Government to stop talking about the report and act on its recommendations, as advised by its own parliamentary Select Committee.

Commented the Campaign’s national secretary, Tony O’Brien: “While we very much welcome the recent drop in construction deaths, even these deaths should not have taken place. All construction deaths are totally preventable. For construction workers and the families of those killed we also say: ‘one death is too many’. We don’t want any further delay in implementing Rita Donaghy’s report.”

Other speakers at the AGM included the Blacklisted Support Group, who explained how fighting for a healthier and safer construction industry has led to members being blacklisted and unable to get work for many years, and described their campaign for new laws and justice.

In addition, Justice for the Shrewsbury Pickets spoke about their campaign in support of the Shrewsbury 24, who included TV’s Ricky Tomlinson and Des Warren, both of whom ended up in jail following the 1972 construction strike.

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