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Ucatt: Too early to backslap over safety improvement

Construction union Ucatt has warned it is “premature” for the industry to claim an achievement in its safety standards after the regulator yesterday announced a 26 per cent fall in fatalities.

As revealed by Construction News last month, figures have shown a significant decline in construction fatalities. The Health and Safety Executive has confirmed there were 53 worker fatalities in 2008/09 – down from 72 the year prior.

Ucatt general secretary Alan Ritchie today said: “Any reduction in deaths is welcomed. But we must remember that 53 families lost a loved one last year, for them the reduction in deaths is no comfort at all. It is premature for the industry to engage in a backslapping exercise about improved construction safety.

“All the evidence indicates that the drop in deaths is due to the economic downturn. Rather than relax on safety measures it is essential that the industry and the Health and Safety Executive redouble their efforts to make sites safe, otherwise as the industry recovers deaths will increase markedly.”