In a hard-hitting new report, UCATT, the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians, has found that almost one in every five construction workers is now classified as ‘at risk’.
Based on a review of the current enforcement regime and interviews with construction workers, ‘The hidden workforce building Britain’ says many are working in ‘slavery like’ conditions, wait in car parks to get work as day labourers and are typically employed in dangerous and unregulated work.
The union is calling for the creation of a single independent labour inspectorate, which would cover all industrial sectors.
The report argues that this beefed up body, which would police all employment standards, should have sufficient resources to dramatically increase its levels of proactive inspections. UCATT says this would ‘ensure that there is a major crackdown on exploitative employers.
The union’s acting general secretary, George Guy, commented: ‘It is time that government and employers accept the unpalatable truths about how the construction industry operates. Only effective regulation by a strong enforcement regime will end exploitation in the construction industry.’
Given this government’s attitude towards health and safety in the UK workplace and the current economic climate there is no chance of a new regulatory body being set up to monitor the construction industry labour force. This means that everyone with an interest in construction worker safety has to be extra vigilant and relentlessly ‘on guard’ to check for construction site dangers and hazards to worker’s health.
HSE please take note…
Bonnar & Company specialises in helping construction workers achieve justice and fair compensation for injury and industrial illness caused by working on site. We work exclusively on behalf of direct employees, sub-contractors, the self- employed and apprentices.