Calls for investigation into Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route worker safety
One of the SNP's flagship privately financed construction projects has been put into the limelight after former workers recounted how they quit following concerns over their safety on their site.
The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route has been in the news before after allegations that agency workers were being forced to pay £100 to receive their pay checks. But the latest calls for an investigation are even more serious.
Former staff allege that they are being forced to work 70 hour weeks in increasingly dangerous conditions. Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has called for a government probe into conditions after the alarming reports surfaced.
Responding to the news, Leonard said:
“These are extremely serious allegations which must be thoroughly investigated as a matter of urgency by the Scottish government.
“This is supposed to be a flagship project for the Scottish government – and so should be founded on a gold standard of health and safety as well as the terms and conditions of workers on the project.
“I have previously raised concerns directly with Nicola Sturgeon about the treatment of workers on this project, and the Labour Party will keep up the pressure until we see a step change in the industry in general and this public project in particular.
“What is clear is that we need to seriously change how public money is handed out. That is why Labour has repeatedly called for a comprehensive review of procurement in Scotland. It should be a lever for the government and other public agencies to drive working conditions and wider economic benefits up. The highest health and safety standards must be enforced.”
Transport Scotland has said that they 'have been working with [Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try] to enhance health and safety standards across the site', and that over the past year they've seen 'steady improvements'.
The project was already controversial before it even began, after it was revealed that the Scottish Government was offering it out as an 'investment opportunity' to suspect regimes. This news will do nothing to allay those concerns.