The Framework For Action will tackle training and worker issues to improve safety on site

An action plan to cut construction deaths and improve health and safety standards was agreed at an industry forum chaired by Peter Hain yesterday.

The Framework For Action sets out ways housebuilders, trade unions and government can reduce construction death by working together to promote training and share best practice.

Key measures include extending the requirement for all site workers in the housebuilding sector to carry a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card and making sure all projects include trade union representatives.

The plan follows the announcement from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) that nearly one in three construction refurbishment sites put workers lives at risk.

Peter Hain, secretary of state for Work and Pensions, said: “House and infrastructure building is booming; but I refuse to tolerate a parallel increase in construction deaths and injury. I am resolutely committed to halting the recent surge in construction deaths.

“Construction is our biggest industry and will be crucial to our continued economic growth and success. The Olympics, a huge house building programme, new schools and hospitals, and regeneration of our cities depend on the hard-working men and women who work in this industry. We must give them the protection they deserve and have a right to. Loss of life must not be the price of our future success.”

The Strategic Forum Health and Safety Task Group will report to government on the progress of the framework by the end of the year.