Workers on the Crossrail site at Bond Street have lost five of their workmates in the last six months. They have not been killed at work, but nonetheless have met early deaths in their sleep unexpected in relatively young, healthy people.
Five deaths in half a year is too many to be a coincidence. From a workforce of five to six hundred, one per cent have died. Working conditions are unpleasant and unhealthy, with dust, poor air quality, no daylight, anti-social hours, and management inaction.
After being told at Monday's briefing of their colleague's death over the weekend, many workers refused to continue working, and spent two days above ground demanding management act to protect their health. Two days later, they were given dust masks and returned to work.
The fact that they work for several different companies may make it easier for their employers to avoid responsibility, but it must not stop us speaking out and demanding safe working conditions. We often say that we are entitled to go to work and come home safely. But we are also entitled to go home from work and wake up safely.