What were your thoughts when you read about the recent blacklisting scandal?
"I’m amazed that contractors used the list and that subcontractors were aware of it as well. It’s difficult to see how the list would have functioned on a day-to-day basis. Does it mean when you interview a subbie you ask them if a certain person on the list works for them?
We should be more concerned about whether we’ve got idiots who are unqualified and might hurt themselves or other people, rather than supposed troublemakers who suspect are just people that are old fashioned and want a clean, safe environment and make less scrupulous site managers look silly by going directly to the HSE. The interviewing process should be enough to screen for potential troublemakers. The list is an anathema to free speech."
Steve Kitchen MCIOB, site manager, ISG
"I was disappointed but not entirely surprised. However, I don’t believe construction is the only industry where such practices occur, and the important thing now is to move on and for people to be more vigilant where they feel such discrimination may be occurring."
Paul Everall, chief executive, LABC
"I note that this comes swiftly on the heels of the OFT investigation into cover pricing. It’s a little rich that construction should come under this sort of scrutiny along with the front page headlines that accompany the press releases from the appropriate government department. This industry hasn’t caused global meltdown like the financial industry has. Was the financial sector regulated by the public sector at all?
I don’t know if anyone has noticed that companies named in both investigations have recently heralded record results as a consequence of working in the public sector on PFI and Building Schools for the Future. Is there no joined up thinking in the public sector?"
Vaughan Burnand, chairman, Constructing Excellence
"I was initially appalled and saddened that major contractors were involved. But it is increasingly difficult to vet potential employees. Employers cannot legally say anything defamatory about existing or former employees. Refusal to provide a reference is the only legal option left."
Phillip Hall, Hall Construction