That appears to be a conclusion to be drawn from an analysis of construction site fatalities by the builders’ union Ucatt.
Ucatt has discovered that in 2014/15 (the most recent reporting year) five out of the seven workers killed on construction sites in London were migrant workers.
The union says that the Health & Safety Executive should itself record the nationality of fatal accident victims in its reporting system as a first step to addressing the apparent discrepancy in worker safety.
Ucatt regional secretary Jerry Swain said: “Each of these deaths was an individual tragedy. It is essential that issues such as different safety standards and methods of working in countries, language issues and whether the deceased were new to the construction industry are properly considered in order to prevent future fatalities. This is simply not going to happen if the HSE continues to fail to address and record the nationality of workers who suffer a fatal accident.”
Ucatt also wants the ‘tick box’ health & safety test that is required by the Construction Skills Certification Scheme to be replaced by something more rigorous. Ucatt believes that workers should not start on a site until they have completed a minimum of a one-day safety course and been fully assessed.
Mr Swain said: “Anyone can be taught to pass a tick box exam. That does not mean that they will not endanger themselves or their colleagues when they are working in construction. A proper safety course with a thorough assessment of a worker’s understanding of safety must be the minimum requirement before they go on site.”