General secretary announces plans to boycott meeting at Institute of Directors over concerns it will undermine safety recommendations

Ucatt has slammed the Health and Safety Executive for undermining Rita Donaghy's report by attending a meeting at the Institute of Directors tomorrow.

The meeting is being held to discuss proposed guidance on how directors might be engaged to implement the recommendations of Donaghy's report into construction deaths.

The Institute of Directors (IoD) has invited various groups to attend the meeting, including the Construction Industry Council, the National Federation of Builders, CECA and the Strategic Forum, in addition to trade unions.

But general secretary of Ucatt, Alan Ritchie, said today he was angry only voluntary guidance was being discussed and told the HSE that Ucatt would be boycotting the meeting.

He added that he had made it clear to ministers at the department of work and pensions that Ucatt was “disappointed in the HSE for attending the meeting”.

“We're not being pigheaded,” he said, “but our role is to make sure the government takes up the recommendations, and we see the IoD as trying to undermine the report.

“Voluntary guidance doesn't work - it's why we had to bring in health and safety legislation in 1974” he added. “We think the meeting is a political motive by the IoD to understate the report.”

A HSE spokesperson said: "It is completely wrong to suggest that this industry-led initiative in any way precludes a decision on positive directors' duties, which will be for ministers to make in due course.”