World Whistleblowing Day - June 23
23rd June 2017
On World Whistleblowing Day, (June 23) Public Concern at Work is calling on construction industry staff who have safety concerns that could affect the general public to contact us for advice on how to safely whistleblow.
Chief Executive, Cathy James, of whistleblowing charity, Public Concern at Work, said: ''The Grenfell Tower tragedy is truly devastating. It should never have happened, or ever happen again and there are understandably many questions to be answered. Public Concern at Work was set up in 1993 following a series of several major disasters - the sinking of the Herald of Free Enterprise, the Clapham rail crash, the Piper Alpha oil rig explosion - which led to exhaustive public inquiries to learn lessons for the future. Those inquiries revealed that staff had been aware of the dangers but had not felt able to raise the matter internally or to pursue it if their concern was not taken seriously.
''It is alarming, almost 25 years on, that health and safety issues can still so easily be ignored and in the face of very stark warnings. Residents of Grenfell Action Group, in November 2016, wrote a blog about landlord Kensington and Chelsea Management Organisation outlining their health and safety fears, stating only a 'catastrophic event would expose the ineptitude and incompetence' of their landlord.''
With news now many other tower blocks have the same sort of cladding – PCAW wants to make it known they can be contacted for advice for those working in the construction industry.
We help people bring their concerns to the attention of someone that can deal with them, whilst minimising the risk that doing so will destroy their livelihood. However, raising concerns, or whistleblowing calls to PCAW is particularly low from the construction industry.
Public Concern at Work Advice line calls in 2016
Health and social care:
- 730 calls
- 4m workers across the UK
- 306 calls
- 3m workers across the UK
- 40 calls
- 2m workers across the UK
Given the recent history in the construction industry there is every reason to assume that workers employed within it are scared about the effect that speaking up will have on their livelihood (In 2009, for example, it was discovered that the secretive organisation called the Consulting Association held an illegal blacklist of 3,200 individuals considered to pose a risk to employers within the construction industry). Without proper support and guidance, a risk persists that these voices will not be heard and we are urging construction workers, if they need advice, to call the Public Concern at Work advice line open Mon-Fri 9-6 pm on 020 7404 6609.