The construction union UCATT recently conducted an online survey of its members regarding safety in the sector. The findings show just how much more needs to be achieved before workers are safe on site.
Over 21% of respondents said their employer did not take their health and safety seriously. A worrying 11% of replies indicated that their workplace had become more dangerous in the last 12 months, while the majority (55%) of those completing the survey said they had seen no improvement in safety in the last year.
There are still major problems with basic safety issues such as personal protective equipment. 8% of respondents said that their employer did not supply PPE, which is of course a legal duty, while 15% of respondents reported that PPE was not regularly replaced and it did not meet workplace needs.
The results on asbestos were even more troubling. Where workers indicated that their work could potentially mean they could come into contact with asbestos, 36% of them reported they or their colleagues had experienced potential exposure in the last year.
38% of respondents said that their employer did not have adequate procedures in place to prevent exposure to asbestos, while 28% said that they had not received adequate training on asbestos awareness and what to do if asbestos was discovered.
It is only by tackling these concerns and the unsafe practices that workers frequently continue to experience that we can make the construction industry safer.
Steve Murphy is the general secretary of UCATT
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