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Contractors expect workers to run risk


Sir, On the cover of the October 21 edition of your fine publication you showed a picture of an operative working dangerously at what would appear to be some considerable height.

Although the circumstances are not known, it would appear that this operative is being expected to repeatedly scale the ladder and fix the reinforcement mesh whilst standing on it.

This task would require at least two hands, juggling pliers, mesh and fixing wire and therefore mean that the poor operative would have to somehow lean against the reinforcement cage whilst fixing the mesh in place, with apparently no fall arrest system in place, nor protection to those below from falling objects.

Presumably the photograph was supposed to be an artistic silhouette, but it just highlights the unnecessarily high-risk circumstances in which the civil engineering workforce are often expected to work, even on major construction projects.

Surely somewhere in its £12 million fee the principal contractor could have found enough resources to provide an adequate working platform for this activity?

Simon Rimell Senior Engineer Halcrow Group Cardiff