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Contractors risk safety to meet 'impossible' client demands

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CONSTRUCTION FIRMS were this week accused of risking workers' lives and cutting quality by agreeing to the 'impossible' demands of clients.

National Specialist Contractors Council chief executive Suzannah Nichol said her members were at the sharp end of main contractors working to unrealistic deadlines.

'Why do main contractors agree to such tight conditions?

'If you squeeze somebody down by eight weeks it's clear something will be lost from the project - it could be quality, it could be safety, ' she said.

'Main contractors say yes to get the job and then try to squeeze my people.' Nichol was delivering the 14th annual Capita Symonds Safety lecture and looked at how improving communication in the supply chain could cut accidents.

She said that main contractors often came to her members only a week before a project was due to start, leaving them little time to work around supply and staffi ng problems.

She added: 'The industry has to start turning back to clients saying 'this is what we deliver and this is how long it takes'.'

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