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DWP's deaths inquiry report delayed for two months

The final report for the Government’s inquiry into construction fatalities has been delayed until late June.

Inquiry chair Rita Donaghy was due to have submitted her report to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions James Purnell on 30 April, however the DWP today confirmed that date had been pushed back.

It could not comment immediately on its reasons for doing so.

Construction union Ucatt has welcomed the decision and said it has been concerned that the timetable was insufficient to examine all areas of the industry.

General secretary Alan Ritchie said: “Our concerns have now proved to be justified.”

The inquiry, revealed by Construction News last summer, was announced by Mr Purnell in December.

Ms Donaghy had admitted to various committees this year that she has had to hand out “unrealistic timetables” to those assisting with the inquiry, including the Health and Safety Executive and Loughborough University.

Mr Ritchie said: “I hope that the extra time that the inquiry will now have will mean that issues including statutory director’s duties, casualisation, gangmasters, blacklisting and endemic bogus self-employment will be properly examined.

“There was a real danger with a truncated inquiry was that these issues which are critical to site safety could have been glossed over.”