Increase in prosecution delays and fall in convictions following construction deaths

Increase in prosecution delays and fall in convictions following construction deaths

Article summary taken from: 

https://www.ucatt.org.uk/increase-prosecution-delays-and-fall-conviction...

A UCATT press release states that a series of parliamentary questions has revealed a sharp drop in convictions following the fatal accidents of construction workers. It has also been discovered that even when there is a prosecution there are increasing delays before the process even begins.

The questions were tabled by Stephen Hepburn Labour MP for Jarrow who has previously taken an interest in construction fatalities.

In answering Mr Hepburn’s questions, Justin Tomlinson MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, at the Department for Work and Pensions, revealed that conviction rates following a fatal construction accident had fallen from 51% in 2007/8 to just 35% in 2012/13.

The fall in conviction rates is despite research from the Health and Safety Executive indicating that in 70 per cent of construction deaths, management failures caused or contributed to the deaths. A previous internal HSE internal audit estimated that prosecutions should occur following 60 per cent of construction deaths.

Brian Rye, Acting General Secretary, of construction union UCATT, said: “These aren’t meaningless figures these are human tragedies. They demonstrate that killer bosses are getting away scot free following the death of workers. Construction workers deserve to know why convictions are so low.”

The low conviction rates do not appear to be due to a high level of not guilty verdicts as in recent years the HSE have achieved an overall conviction rate of between 91%-95%.

Read more on the UCATT website

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In work deaths