It's now over ten years since I started the process of exposing the secret blacklisting of over 3000 construction workers. Many had been blacklisted by the construction companies for simply trying to raise legitimate health and safety concerns in their workplace.
Ten years on and hundreds of innocent people are still dying on our construction sites.
There have been 217 deaths in construction in the last 5 years, with an additional 65,000 annual non fatal injuries.
Last week saw the reported death of Ian Walker (RIP) on a Balfour Beatty project in Aberdeen.
BALFOUR BEATTY DEATH
The week before saw the reported £200,000 fine for the death of Scott Dobson (RIP) on a Carillion project in 2012.
What is even more disturbing is the length some of these construction companies will go to in order to try to absolve themselves of any blame.
Watkin Jones Construction
Watkin Jones are a local construction company to me in North Wales and are a Respondent in one of my claims (for breach of the 2010 Blacklisting Regulations) to the Employment Tribunal. I learned the following about them from an Internet search over the Christmas holiday.
In 2007, a 23 year old worker, Thomas Whitmarsh (RIP) suffered a fall on one of their projects which resulted in him suffering major head and significant brain injuries, impaired speech and coordination, he became blind in one eye, suffered hearing loss and contracted meningitis. He very sadly died as a result of these injuries in 2009.
Not only did Watkin Jones try to deny their liability for five years until they were held accountable and fined £450,000 with £98,000 costs in October 2012, they also tried and failed to overturn the judgment at the Court of Appeal in April 2013, horrifically prolonging the awful pain and suffering for Mr Whitmarsh's family for all that time.
WATKIN JONES DEATH
WATKIN JONES DEATH (APPEAL)
How can any company responsible for such neglect and atrocity continue to be awarded Government funded projects?
And the lawyers who happily take their money to peddle their lies.
It's beyond me, it really is...