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    ‘FACE THE FACTS’ ON CONSTRUCTION SAFETY

    Fatalities Inquiry Chair speaks out on construction deaths

    The BBC Radio 4 programme Fact the Facts broadcast on Thursday 21 January 2010, included some hard hitting comment from Rita Donaghy CBE FRSA and Chair of the Government Inquiry into the underlying causes of construction fatal accidents.

    Ms Donogue reinterated her Inquiry findings that further legal duties on company directrors are now required.

    The BBC programme summary states: “The efforts by the HSE to ensure heavy punishment for serious breaches of regulations are often undermined by laws which are aimed at companies rather than the people who run them.

    Firms which go into administration after an accident can simply escape any penalty while the directors can set up in business again soon afterwards, all perfectly legally.

    The government has thus far resisted efforts to change the law to make it easier to prosecute individual directors.

    John Waite hears how one firm, found guilty after men died. folded between verdict and sentencing, leaving a penalty of nearly half a million pounds unpaid.”

    Fact the Facts also recently covered issues arising from the London tower block fire. The programme summary states:

    “The deaths of six people in a tower block fire in London in July 2009 have revealed poor to non-existent fire safety standards in some similar residential buildings. At many there was no fire risk assessment – one has even been condemned as too unsafe for people to live in.

    We reveal that it had been visited by the fire service on a regular basis because of broken lifts, yet only after the London fire did it become clear the building was unsafe.”

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