Ucatt welcomes changes to work-related deaths protocol

A leading trade group has welcomed proposals to curtail the amount of time it takes before a firm can be prosecuted for negligence following a fatal accident involving one of its employees.

The Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (Ucatt) stated it hopes the review of the Work Related Deaths Protocol will result in its alteration to enable the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to prosecute firms before an inquest has taken place.

Ucatt acting general secretary George Guy stated that in the current system, “a family loses a loved one and then has to wait for many years before justice is done”.

This is “simply wrong”, he argued, noting “anything which speeds up the justice system” in an event like this should be welcomed.

Although HSE research indicates management failings contribute to around 70 per cent of all fatal incidents on site, only 30 per cent of companies are convicted after a worker in the construction sector is killed while performing their job.

The organisation has previously argued against cuts to the HSE and the closing of its accident reporting line, with Mr Guy declaring that “workers hardly ever see a HSE inspector”.

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