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Countdown to union safety blitz

NEWS

A UNION-LED safety offensive on key Londonbased construction projects will be launched next month.

The week-long blitz, organised jointly by union officials from Ucatt, GMB and TGWU, will kick off with a high-profile campaign on the Canary Wharf development.

Safety on the site was again questioned three weeks ago when 44-year-old electrical engineer Cormac Nordon was crushed to death by a twotonne cabinet which fell on him while it was being fitted in the DS8 building.

It brought to six the death toll on the Docklands development.

The safety blitz will also cover the £2 billion Paddington Basin redevelopment, the £400 million Paternoster Square office and retail scheme near St Paul's in the City, the Greater London Authority building and Tower Place in central London.

Leaflets, which have been drawn up with the Trades Union Congress, will be handed to workers as they arrive on site. They will spell out safety procedures, rights to holiday pay and how to deal with bullying and intimidation tactics if they raise safety concerns.

GMB organiser Tom Kelly said: 'The recent health and safety statistics for construction have set alarm bells ringing.

'The unions have joined forces because it was felt we needed to work closely on this issue. By working together we will also have a greater impact when we arrive on the sites.'

The union pact was made during a southeast regional construction committee of the TUC in April.