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Unite and UCATT organise health and safety lobby

The Unite and Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT) groups have hosted an event to lobby for better health and safety in the construction industry.

An event titled Save our Safety took place today (June 11th) at parliament in London to highlight what the unions see as a "persistent" attack on workplace health and safety rules in the construction industry.

A photo opportunity with workers wearing hard hats and a banner took place before officials lobbied MPs to do more to keep construction sites safe.

Unite - the UK's largest union - argues since the coalition government took office there have been a number of unsavoury changes made - including a 35 per cent budget cut to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which investigates workplace injuries. 

As a result of a recent parliamentary review many regulations - including those for tower cranes and head protection - have been scrapped completely.

Additionally, the unions say the government is doing all it can to remove as many self-employed individuals from health and safety regulation as possible - putting them at risk of accident or death.

Steve Murphy, general secretary of construction union UCATT, said: "The government's policies are increasing workplace dangers, this will lead to a rise in deaths and injuries. 

"MPs need to listen to construction workers and ensure that the attacks on safety provisions are [stopped]."

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "It is a disgrace that construction workers wake up each day to face the prospect of being injured seriously, falling ill, or even dying while the Tories mock health and safety."

Mr McCluskey added that MPs need to make changes to health and safety to ensure workers remain secure at work or they would send a "dangerous message" to employers - whose cost cutting might put lives at risk.

The general secretary also criticised the practice of blacklisting unionised employees in the industry. 

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