Accident rate on the Village much higher than the park as a whole
Serious concerns about the rate of accidents on the construction of the 2012 Athlete’s Village have been revealed in a leaked report from the Olympic Delivery Authority.
The report reveals that workers at the village are 66% more likely to suffer a reportable accident than those on the rest of the site, prompting the ODA to commission a special review.
According to the Guardian newspaper, the report says: “Following a number of serious incidents and near misses at the Athletes Village, a review was commissioned by the ODA Director of Construction to be conducted in mid-September by the ODA Head of Health and Safety…it is likely that the focus on the Village will continue for the foreseeable future.”
Accidents include a major incident, revealed by Building, where an air ambulance was called after a worker fell one storey and broke his wrist on a Bovis-run part of the site. Overall the leaked report finds the accident rate for the year to September 2010 was 0.25 for every million man hours worked - or eight accidents - compared to just 0.15 or four accidents for the Olympic Park.
However it also finds that since then accident rates have fallen on the main site, while continuing at the Village, meaning they are now running at double the rate of the main site.
The report was first received by construction union Ucatt. Ucatt general secretary Alan Ritchie said: “The Olympic Park is governed by strict rules arranged between the Olympic Delivery Authority and the unions that ensure workers are employed directly and that minimum construction wage rates are guaranteed. The same rules do not apply to the Village, creating a more casualised labour environment which impacts safety.”
Ritchie said the evidence showed the clear link between a casualised labour force and higher rates of accident.
Lawrence Waterman, ODA’s head of health and safety, said in a statement: “We take health and safety extremely seriously on the Olympic Park and Village, which is why we have an accident frequency rate far lower than the industry average on both sites. In fact, the Village’s accident frequency rate is 65% less than the industry average.
“However, we are not complacent and constantly seeking to further minimise the risk of any incidents. We do this in partnership with the contractors and this is monitored by the regulatory bodies including the Health and Safety Executive.”