Friday, September 21, 2007

Who is checking workers' safety in Croydon's construction industry?

On Wednesday, a third serious industrial incident took place in central Croydon in a matter of months. Wandering into Dingwall Road at lunchtime, the road was blocked by fire engines and police cars. It turns out that a mechanical digger fell into a basement during demolition work. The driver was badly shaken.

Back in June, a crane collapsed into the Croydon Park Hotel seriously injuring one man. And in April this year much of Croydon was closed to motorists when a large container almost fell from a crane by Croydon Flyover.

So that is three incidents in close succession, with impact on local residents and motorists - the terrible incident in Battersea last year shows the dangers involved. But above all, we have to be concerned for the safety of the construction workers in Croydon. What are the Health and Safety Executive doing? How is Croydon Council - particularly planning control - controlling developments and demolitions?

With the massive amount of development about to take place in Croydon in coming years, we need to get this sorted. I have raised this matter with leading members of Croydon Trades Council - their vigil after the last incident helped raise awareness, but now we need policy change.

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