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We need an accident inspection hit squad

AGENDA

THE POIGNANT message in one floral tribute to the killed workers in Worthing said it all.

'Just normal, regular working men going to work to provide for family and loved ones.Why did it happen?'

At the moment little is known about the sequence of events leading up to the crane collapse, which killed two workers and seriously injured a third at 10.20 am last Friday; just that one crane was about to be dismantled.

Now the onus is firmly on safety inspectors to unearth the answers, fully and quickly - principally for the men's bereaved families, who need to know the truth to help them try to come to terms with what happened, but also for the many thousands of site staff working on or in the shadow of tower cranes daily.

Any needless delay betrays all those involved.

This investigation must not be allowed to mirror the now depressing pattern in investigations of this kind.

It is a disgrace that, nearly five years after the awful Canary Wharf crane collapse, which killed three, we are still waiting for the conclusive report on what happened.

Similar lengthy investigations into the building collapse at Ashford and gantry collapse at Avonmouth prove this is the norm, and not the exception to the rule.

Construction News has called for an elite squad of inspectors to probe major accidents of this kind before.

A team of experienced inspectors trained in police interview techniques would have a better chance of getting quickly to the bottom of events than those who are expected to carry out their daily duties.

This is not radical thinking, just good sense.

The question is: why does it continue to fall on deaf ears down at the Health and Safety Executive?