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Minister Announces Inquiry Into Construction Fatalities

James Purnell, Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), has today announced he has commissioned an inquiry into the underlying causes of construction fatalities.

In appointing Rita Donaghy as independent Chair to the inquiry, James Purnell said:
“The construction industry is one of the most dangerous sectors in the country - over 2,800 people have died from injuries they received as a result of construction work in the past 25 years.

“No one can find it acceptable that this number of people have died directly as a cause of their work and we are not making sufficient progress on preventing this total of human misery.

"The high number of fatalities in construction sector continue to be of particular concern to us which is why I have asked Rita Donaghy to Chair  an inquiry looking at  the underlying causes of construction fatal incidents to see what more can done to reduce this terrible toll.”

Rita Donaghy said:

“I am keen to get started and work with the trade unions, the industry and the Health and Safety Executive to see what lessons we learn from the root causes of construction accidents so that we can improve the health and safety of construction workers.”

The inquiry will be undertaken in three phases; firstly a comprehensive review of existing work to consolidate the understanding of fatal injuries in the construction industry with specific reference to vulnerability.  Secondly, to carry out a deeper analysis of underlying causes including factors outside the health and safety system, and thirdly reporting to Ministers and HSE’s Board.

Independent academic peer reviewers with detailed knowledge of the industry will be involved in assisting Rita Donaghy and the inquiry will report to Ministers next year.

Source: DWP

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