banner unionsafete

Profits Before Lives Identified By USRs As Reason Rail Contractors Lives Put At risk

Unite has demanded an investigation into an incident on the Crossrail project that left an electrician in hospital with 70 per cent burns. The man, who has not been named but who was working for subcontractor Barhale, was seriously injured on 12 December when he struck a below ground electrical cable on a Holborn site in central London.

Unite had earlier raised concerns about safety standards, blacklisting  and victimisation of safety reps on Europe's largest construction job.

Unite national officer, Bernard McAulay said:

"Our thoughts are with the worker and his family. There must now be an immediate open and transparent investigation into this serious accident.

"It is time Crossrail recognises the need to address our serious concerns over health and safety on the project. In the last two months there have been two major incidents. Unite is becoming increasingly concerned over the continued resistance of Crossrail Ltd to enter into meaningful discussions to establish an overarching collective agreement which will cover health and safety and industrial relations. The agreement reached with the unions for the Olympics delivered the project on time, to budget and without a major incident.

"Crossrail must now get serious about engaging meaningfully with Unite. If necessary Transport for London must intervene to get Crossrail around the table. The situation at Crossrail cannot continue."
A spokesperson for the Blacklist Support Group, which protested outside the Department for Transport after the incident, commented: ”Having sacked safety reps for pointing out the danger of an exposed 12,000 volt live cable at their Westbourne Park site, Crossrail now need to explain how a worker was able to accidently cut through another live cable at their Holborn site. The resulting explosion set him on fire and has left him in hospital with 70 per cent burns.”
He added that main contractors Bam, Ferrovial and Kier are in receipt of billions from the public purse for the project and called for 'a public enquiry now as to why they are putting their workers “lives at risk.”

Source: Unite / TUC Risks

Designed, Hosted and Maintained by Union Safety Services