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Busby slams Government on safety

KIER chief executive Colin Busby has called on the Government to appoint 1,000 construction inspectors in an attack on ministers over their commitment to health and safety.

Mr Busby, chairman of the Major Contractors Group, said: 'The Government says the right things but is paying lip service to the issues involved.

'Since the MCG launched its Health and Safety Charter, the Government has done virtually nothing. There is virtually no extra investment, virtually no extra commitment.

'The HSE has about 150 people out in the field to cover the whole of the industry in the UK - that's about the same as just two major contractors. We need at least 1,000 people performing this function.'

Mr Busby was speaking at a conference organised by the Office of Government Commerce last week.

The Kier boss also launched a broadside against the Government about the slow and costly process of Private Finance Initiative bidding.

Kevin Myers, HSE head of construction, said: 'Demands for more money or inspectors should not obscure the fact that the industry and its clients have to become engaged if we are to see real improvements.'