EXCLUSIVE: Accident at Crossrail after safety issues highlighted

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By John Millington

HEALTH and safety concerns have once again been highlighted on the Crossrail project after an “accident” at the Westbourne Park site earlier today.

According to unconfirmed reports, a conveyor at the site was taking rubble out of the tunnel when a gantry collapsed.

The site in question has been the scene for mass protests by rank and file union members following the dismissal of 28 workers by contractor Bam Ferrovial Kier (BFK).

Activists claim that 2 union representatives raised  safety concerns over unsafe cabling and blacklisting on the site, only to have their contractor – EIS and all 28 workers removed from the job.

A spokesman for Crossrail confirmed that no one was injured and that the “incident” would be investigated fully.

“During the transportation of excavated material from the tunnels to the freight trains, the hopper, which feeds excavated material into wagons at Westbourne Park, tilted into an individual wagon,” he said.

“No injuries resulted. Network Rail closed the adjacent track to our site as a precaution to enable further investigations to be undertaken. As is standard procedure, the Health and Safety Executive was advised.”

However Blacklist Support Group secretary Dave Smith expressed concern, telling the Dreadnaught: “Do workers need to die on Crossrail before BFK consortium stop blacklisting safety reps and start talking to trade unions?”

Noting a high level of public funding for the project, Mr Smith added: “Public funds deserve the highest standards not Dickensian anti-union mill owner attitudes.”

More to follow as we get it…

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