Share this page

For more information on Construction click here for the relevant chapter of the TUC guide to health and safety "Hazards at Work

Construction is one of Britain's biggest industries and one of its most dangerous.

In the last 25 years, 2,800 people have been killed on construction sites or as a result of construction activities. Many more have been injured or made ill. Each year it tops the work fatalities list, accounting for over a quarter of all workplace deaths. Annually, as many as 4,000 building workers may die from industrial disease and thousands are injured as a result of construction work.

Hazards faced by construction workers include: Asbestos; musculo-skeletal disorders; falls; slips and tips; noise. Diseases they face include: Dermatitis; asthma, and emphysema. Often work is sub-contracted, causing uncertainty as to who is responsible for safety. New legislation now insists that everyone has duties and responsibilities regarding health and safety, from the worker to each contractor, to the architect up to the top boss.


‘Blacklisting mastermind’ refuses to give evidence The alleged architect of the construction blacklisting scandal, Cullum McAlpine, has declined to give evidence when the case comes before the High Court next month. Unite condemned the decision by the top director of Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd as ‘a further gross insult’ to...
15 April 2016
date: 23 April 2015 embargo : 00.01 hrs Tuesday 28 April 2015 International Workers’ Memorial Day (Tuesday, 28 April) serves as a reminder to workers across the globe that many of them are at daily risk of accidents, injury and illness at work, says the TUC. The event is an...
28 April 2015
Lessons must be learned from Crossrail death The construction industry must learn lessons from the death of René Tkacik on the Crossrail project, site union UCATT has said. In March 2014, the 44-year-old highly skilled and experienced worker was crushed to death by wet concrete while working for the Bam...
06 March 2015
Cameron says ‘no’ to blacklisting inquiry The prime minister has confirmed he will not support a public inquiry into blacklisting of union reps for raising safety and other concerns on site. In an interview with journalist Adam Smith, author of the bestseller ‘Obama and Me’, David Cameron said: “What is...
25 July 2014
Rise in sites deaths ‘sends chill’ through the industry Construction union UCATT is warning that the latest fatality figures, showing an increase in construction deaths, could mark the beginning of a steady rise in fatalities. Despite the overall number of workplace fatalities in 2013/14 reaching an all-time low, the number...
11 July 2014
Scheming site firms try to bypass blacklist justice Unions have condemned a “cynical” industry-controlled compensation scheme for blacklisted construction workers launched last week ahead of this week’s continuation of a High Court compensation case. In October last year, eight major companies implicated in the blacklisting scandal - Balfour Beatty, Carillion,...
11 July 2014
Concrete concerns before Crossrail death A whistleblower has revealed how giant boulders of concrete had fallen and a number of people were injured in the months before a construction worker was crushed to death in a Crossrail tunnel. A document marked “confidential”, obtained by the Camden New Journal, warns of...
09 May 2014
Don’t fall for blacklisting payouts scam Blacklisted workers are being told to steer clear of a compensation scheme set up by construction firms but not agreed with unions. Unions Unite and UCATT say the scheme is too restricted, too mean and won’t deliver justice. UCATT said its members should “have...
25 April 2014
Construction unions have welcomed a decision by the Labour Party to bar blacklisting construction firm Carillion from its conference.
27 September 2013
Poor standards and unsafe work on Britain's building sites will be targeted as part of a nationwide drive aimed at reducing death, injury and ill-health in the industry.
06 September 2013