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UNION RAISES DOUBTS OVER OLYMPIC VILLAGE SITE SAFETY

Construction union UCATT warns extra vigilance needed on Village projects

UCATT has issued a “warning” after learning that the frequency of accidents on the Olympic Village is double the rate on the Olympic Park. The accident frequency rate on the Olympic Village is said to be 0.24 for every million man hours worked, compared to an AFR of 0.11 on the Olympic Park.

Despite the warning UCATT regards the overall safety record as “good” compared to many other construction projects. Currently there have been no fatal accidents on the Olympics and only a very small number of major injuries on the project.

Final ‘rush’ must not reduce standards

The union is also concerned that in recent weeks there has been “growing reports of workers working excessive hours”. Alan Ritchie , General Secretary of UCATT, said:

“It is essential that everyone involved in the Olympics makes every effort to ensure that accidents do not increase during the final months of this project.

While accident rates are currently not high, it is all too common for these rates to increase dramatically in a rush to finish a project. That must not be allowed to occur on the Olympics.”

UCATT points out that The Olympic Park is governed by strict rules concerning direct employment which do not apply to the Olympic Village thereby “creating a more casualised environment, which impacts on safety levels.”  Mr Ritchie, added:

“The Olympics demonstrates categorically that there is a clear link between casual working practices and accidents in the construction industry. It is essential that measures are taken to improve safety and working conditions on the Olympic Village.”

Lawrence Waterman Head of Health and Safety for the ODA said in a statement:

“We take health and safety extremely seriously on the Olympic Park and Village, which is why we have an accident frequency rate far lower than the industry average on both sites. In fact, the Village’s accident frequency rate is 65% less than the industry average.

However, we are not complacent and constantly seeking to further minimise the risk of any incidents. We do this in partnership with the contractors and this is monitored by the regulatory bodies including HSE.”

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