Peter Hain brings together employers, trade unions and construction bodies to discuss ways to cut fatalities

Peter Hain, the secretary of state for work and pensions, has announced that he will be holding a forum for key industry figures to discuss ways to reduce the number of fatalities in the construction industry.

Peter Hain

The forum, to be held in September, will bring together employers, trade unions and construction organisations to discuss improvements to health and safety in the housebuilding and refurbishment sectors.

Hain said: “It is vital that everyone involved in the construction industry puts health and safety first. Everyone from clients to employers, designers to suppliers, large construction firms right down to the smallest builders.”

The news comes after recent figures revealed a 20% rise in construction-related deaths in 2006 and 2007.

Hain added: “With the prime minister’s commitment to build 3 million new homes over the next few years, and large scale developments such as the Olympics, industry and government must work together to do all we can to ensure the health and safety of construction workers is put first.”