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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 November 2012

The scandal of death at work

Two fatal incidents on separate construction sites in London have again cast the spotlight on safety in the construction industry.

On 29 October, carpenter Justinas Kopickas died at a site in Putney. Reports suggest that he was leaning against a metal barrier on the sixth floor of the development when he fell, colliding with two builders on the way.

On the same day, a man died after apparently being crushed at a demolition site on Tottenham High Road. The 25 year old victim suffered multiple injuries and died in hospital two days later.

The incidents occurred just days before the HSE issued its latest injury and ill-health statistics. The construction industry sector recorded 2,230 major injuries in 2011/12, down from 2,307 in 2010/11.

In response to the figures, the HSE's chief inspector of construction, Philip White, said: "Year after year, construction continues to be one of the most dangerous sectors in British industry.

"Though the numbers are down in the long term, thousands of workers are being seriously injured, or made unwell by their work."

This is happening at the same time as construction companies like those involved in the Crossrail project, continue to sack and blacklist safety reps and trade unionists.

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