Despite the target, set by the government in February 2001, to cut deaths and major injuries in construction by 40 per cent by 2004/05 and by 66 per cent by 2009/10 the murdering of building workers is still going on unchecked.
Deaths on building sites are still running at about six a month - more or less the same each year since 1998/99. It is clear that other than set targets that are ignored by building bosses the government is going to do sod all about the slaughter of building workers. At a recent conference on construction safety the minister for work Jane Kennedy said the industry 'is falling short of the challenging targets it set itself in 2001.' She added: 'I want to see stakeholders to take ownership of the health and safety challenges, show leadership in taking action and forge new partnerships to accelerate health and safety improvements.” Empty meaningless talk by people who do not give a toss about building workers, only through self organisation leading to the rebuilding of workplace organisations will stop the killings.
A London scaffolding firm Crowe Fabrications Ltd is facing fines and costs of £42,000 after a worker died and another was seriously injured. On 12 July 2002 one worker was killed and one seriously injured when the scaffold rig they were dismantling became unbalanced and fell 20 metres into the street. The court found that the work had not being properly planned with no site-specific method statement being drawn up which would have set out how the scaffold was to be kept stable and falls from height prevented. The company received fines totalling £30,000 and was ordered to pay costs of £12,000 - a reflection of the true value the British state places on building workers lives.