A government-commissioned inquiry into health and safety in the construction industry has been delayed by two months, the Department for Work and Pensions has admitted
Rita Donaghy, who is chairing the inquiry, was to have submitted her report to James Purnell, the work and pensions secretary, by 30 April. But his department has confirmed that it will now not be handed over until late June.
In January, Donaghy told a committee of MPs that the report would be in the “secretary of state’s hands by the last day of April”.
Donaghy, who is the former chair of the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Services group, has met industry leaders and safety bodies as part of her inquiry.
Alan Ritchie, the general secretary of Ucatt, said the union had privately warned her last year there would not be enough time to examine all areas of the industry. He is calling for Donaghy to use the additional time to look into the issues of bogus self-employment, gangmasters and blacklisting.
Last week Donaghy said she would focus the inquiry on the under-reporting of accidents. The Health and Safety Executive announced last week it aimed to recruit up to 50 inspectors to improve site safety.
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