Unite, the UK’s construction union, is calling on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to undertake a full inquiry into serious health concerns at Crossrail’s Bond Street station.

The workforce on the multi-million pound section of the Crossrail project has been on stand down following reports that four workers operating on the project had passed away in their sleep.

Unite is further demanding that the joint venture behind the project ends its union busting habits and fully engages with the union when allaying health concerns on the project.

Unite has been raising concerns about air quality levels at Bond Street for months. Through its campaigning it has ensured that an improved air quality monitoring system was put in place.

Unite has warned that assurances from the contractors Costain/Skanska that there is no problem with air quality is premature, while a Unite safety rep was present at yesterday’s (3 October) air quality tests, independent testing at the project will not take place until next Tuesday (8 October).

Unite remains concerned that due to the union busting activities of Costain/Skanska, the workforce will not be properly engaged and management will impose top down solutions. This will do little or nothing to allay workers’ concerns.

Unite regional officer Guy Langston said: “Workers at Bond Street have had genuine concerns about air quality levels for months and despite obstruction from management, Unite has ensured improvements have been made.

“The latest tragedies have again highlighted concerns with the air quality at the station and it is essential that the HSE holds a full inquiry into all elements of health and safety on the project.

“Workers should not return to work until independent testing has confirmed that it is safe to do so.

“If workers are going to have any confidence in air quality monitoring it is essential that Costain and Skanska do not revert to their union busting principles but fully involve Unite in testing and introducing measures to ensure that workers are not being placed at risk.”

“If Costain and Skanska exclude Unite from the process then workers will simply not trust anything management says.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.